Five Iron fired a 19-1 upset at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon, leading every step to take the 38th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy by a length over Summer Front.
Bounding into the lead and opening up by nearly 10 lengths on his nine rivals, Five Iron galloped through a quarter mile in 24.52 seconds and a half in 47.51 over a "good" inner turf course. As Five Iron's lead began to dwindle on the far turn, jockey Mike Luzzi asked the 4-year-old colt for another gear and he responded with enough to turn back the late charge from Summer Front.
His winning time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:48.30.
"When I spoke with [trainer Brian Lynch] he basically told me he's a quirky, really strong horse," said Luzzi. "If you try to rate him, or take hold of him, he'll fight you and he'll run off. It probably looked like he ran off, but I had him. I had him, he didn't have me, which I was happy about. When we got that far in front, at the three-eighths pole, I said, 'Might as well get away now and not wait for them to catch me.' It worked out."
The victory was the first since September for Five Iron, who in his only other journey to New York was a similarly front-running winner of the Grade 3 Saranac at Saratoga Race Course. He subsequently was third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby to close out his 3-year-old campaign and was ninth in the Grade 3 Appleton on March 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Five Iron returned $41.20 for a $2 win bet, and earned $90,000 to push his bankroll to $491,060 for his breeder and owner, Fred M. Allor. Overall, the colt is 5-2-2 from 14 career starts.
Summer Front, a multiple graded stakes winner, was two lengths in front of third-place finisher Tetradrachm. Speaking of Which, Unbridled Ocean, Sky Blazer, and Swift Warrior followed him under the wire, with Ghurair, the 6-5 favorite who was making his North American debut, checking in eighth. Manighar and Seal Cove completed the order of finish.