NEW YORK (AP) Chief Lion extended his winning streak to three with a 1 1/2-length victory Wednesday in the $85,000 allowance feature at Belmont Park.
And he did it at three different tracks on a coast-to-coast odyssey.
It started in California at Santa Anita, continued at Penn National before hitting Belmont for owner-trainer David Jacobson.
Chief Lion and jockey Emmanuel Esquivel set the early pace under pressure from Loki’s Vengeance. They shook free of that rival at the top of the stretch and were comfortably clear of the late rally from runner-up All Star Red.
The 6-year-old gray gelding improved to 7 for 27. The time was 1:15.50 for the 6 1/2 furlongs.
Chief Lion paid $16, $8.50 and $5.10. All Star Red returned $6.20 and $4.50. Drama King, longest shot in the race at 29-1, paid $10.40 to show.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.
“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”
Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.
Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.
TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.
Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.
“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”