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Krypton Takes Hill Prince

Krypton made a brisk move on the far turn and out-sprinted the odds-on favorite to post a mild upset in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince presented by RAM on Friday at Belmont Park.


Returning to the turf off a ninth in the Grade 2 Lexington over Keeneland’s synthetic surface, Krypton settled behind the 3-5 favorite Nordic Truce as the pacesetter ran the opening quarter in a sleepy 24.97. Jockey Rajiv Maragh angled Krypton outside to turn up the pressure on Nordic Truce as the field entered the upper turn, and the two leaders sprinted to the wire while racing in close quarters, with Krypton prevailing by a neck.


The stewards conducted an inquiry into the stretch run but let the original result stand.


“It was a race lacking a true speed horse, a true leader,” said Maragh. “[Nordic Truce] showed speed last time when they went 45 and change [in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland]. I wanted to blow the race open and make it a two-horse race. I made a move earlier than usual. He was a little tight; the contact was made when [Nordic Truce] came out into me.”


The final time for the one mile over the firm Widener turf course was 1:34.97, with Krypton completing the final quarter mile in a brisk 22.45.


“I thought he’d be better if he was behind a horse or two,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains the 3-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten on behalf of Harvey A. Clarke and Ron Winchell. “Rajiv rode a great race and we had seven pounds, so I think that helped.”


Plans are undetermined for Krypton, according to McLaughlin.


The 2-1 second choice in the field of five, Krypton returned $6.00 for a $2 win bet and improved his record to 3-1-0 from nine starts. Bred in Florida by Jacks or Better Farm Inc., his career earnings now stand at $124,416.


Lethal Combination finished 3½ lengths behind Nordic Truce in third, with long shots Gold Medallion and Noah’s Dream completing the order of finish. Avenging Spirit, Remand, and Six Clicks were scratched.





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