Camelot Kitten hit his best stride in deep stretch to overtake stablemate Beach Patrol in the final jumps and win the Grade 3 Hill Prince on Super Saturday at Belmont Park, with Annals of Time up for third to give trainer Chad Brown a 1-2-3 finish in the $500,000 turf race for 3-year-olds.
Patiently handled by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Camelot Kitten dropped to the back of the 10-horse field on the inside as Monster Bea led through moderate fractions of 24.89 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, with the half going in 48.80 and three-quarters in 1:12.35. Straightening for home, favored Beach Patrol took over from Monster Bea, with Annals of Time revving up from midpack, but Camelot Kitten closed fastest of all down the middle of the stretch to best the favorite by a head.
His winning time for 1 1/8 miles over the firm inner turf course was 1:47.25. Sent off as the 3-1 second choice, Camelot Kitten returned $8 for a $2 win bet in giving Brown his third graded stakes win of the afternoon to go along with Lady Eli's triumph in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl and Practical Joke's hard-fought victory in the Grade 1 Champagne.
"You put three horses in a race like this, with so many talented horses in the race, you're just happy that one of them wins," said Brown. "And for them to sweep the purse is an incredible feeling. I'm sorry there had to be a loser in the race. All three horses ran so well, particularly Beach Patrol in defeat. It was close at the wire. Camelot Kitten got the better trip, saving all the ground and angling out. Beach Patrol did the brunt of the work up front and Annals of Time for only his third career start, laying close to the pace and batting on to get third, all three horses ran terrific races."
The Hill Prince was the fourth graded stakes win for the Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred, who this year also won the Grade 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga Race Course, the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge and the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs.
Overall, Kitten's Joy colt is 5-3-0 from 10 career starts. The winner's purse of $300,000 lifted his earnings to $963,520.
Monster Bea finished fourth, a head behind Annals of time, with Strike Midnight a close-up fourth. Inspector Lynley, Berliner, Conquest Daddyo, American Patriot and Dressed in Hermes completed the order of finish.
Source: NYRA Communications (Jenny Kellner)