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Flat Out Takes Off in Suburban

Flat Out wins 2011 Suburban.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Flat Out, the longest shot on the board at 13-1, barreled widest of all into the lead at the top of the stretch and onto a 6 ½-length upset in Saturday's 125th edition of the Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

Ridden by Alex Solis, the 5-year-old son of Flatter stayed within hailing distance as even-money favorite Rodman led the field of six through opening fractions of 23.95, 47.02 and 1:10.65. Ranging up on the turn, Flat Out kicked into high gear once straightened for home, powering to the front and drawing off to hit the wire in 1:46.64 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Hymn Book, the second choice, was up for second, a length ahead of Rodman.

"Today he was laying perfect," said winning trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey of Flat Out, who finished sixth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. "I've tried to think of several reasons why he didn't run his normal race [last time]. He came out of it fine and he's better off running than standing in his stall."

The victory was the fourth in nine lifetime starts for Flat Out, who suffered from several quarter-cracks and setbacks earlier in his career, including a 20-month layoff that stretched from his sixth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby on April 11, 2009 to December 5, 2010, when he returned to post a two-length optional claiming win at the Fair Grounds. In his only start this year before the Stephen Foster, Flat Out was second in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 30.

"We gave him time, and waited on him, and today, he's paying us back," said Dickey. "We've done everything we can right for him and he's responding real well and running good."

Flat Out paid $29.20 for a $2 win bet to his backers in the crowd of 6,441, and earned $180,000 for owner Jack Preston, doubling his bankroll to $359,713.

"This is only the second time we've taken money from [Belmont Park] back to Texas," joked Preston, whose Victory Gallop denied Real Quiet the Triple Crown in 1998. "We've had faith in him the whole time; he's just had problems, one after the other. He's a super horse and we found out today how good he is."

Completing the order of finish were Convocation, Colizeo, and Icabad Crane.

 

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