05/25/2012 1:54PM

Belmont: Caleb's Posse 8-5 favorite for six-horse Met Mile

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ELMONT, N.Y. – It must be a competitive event when a horse who has won five straight races and what is equal to the highest last-out Beyer Speed Figure among the contenders could be the longest shot in the field.

Such is the case in Monday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap, which drew a solid six-horse field, including four Grade 1 winners – Caleb’s Posse, Jackson Bend, Shackleford, and To Honor Serve – as well as Caixa Eletronica, winner of the $1 million Charles Town Classic in his last start.

The field gained a sixth starter when trainer and part-owner David Jacobson decided to wheel the 6-year-old gelding Saginaw back nine days after he won the Affirmed Success Stakes for New York-breds here on May 19. His 109 Beyer earned for that performance equals the last-out figures earned by Jackson Bend and Caleb’s Posse, separated by a nose in the Grade 1 Carter last month at Aqueduct.

Jacobson, who had to pay a $10,000 supplemental fee to enter, said Friday he plans to run.

“He’s as sharp as he could be right now,” said Jacobson, who claimed Saginaw for $30,000 on March 8 and who has won four races with him in 46 days. “We’re planning to run. His last race puts him in the game.”

This is a different game than Saginaw has played recently.

Caleb’s Posse, the defending Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, was made the 8-5 morning line favorite by New York Racing Association oddsmaker Eric Donovan. He will break from post 3 under Rajiv Maragh and will be the starting co-highweight at 121 pounds along with Jackson Bend, who beat Caleb’s Posse by a nose in the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct on April 7.

Prior to that, Caleb’s Posse was beaten a neck in the Grade 3 Tom Fool over Aqueduct’s inner track.

To Honor and Serve, who is 3 for 3 at a mile, including a score in last November’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile, drew the rail and was installed as the co-second choice at 3-1 along with Jackson Bend, who drew post 6.

Shackleford, the 2011 Preakness winner, comes off a one-length score in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs going seven furlongs three weeks ago. He breaks from post 2 under John Velazquez, who replaces the injured Jesus Castanon.

Caixa Eletronica, third in last year’s Met, will break from post 5.

Jersey Town, the 2010 Cigar Mile winner, was not entered due to quarter crack problems, trainer Barclay Tagg said.

The Met Mile is a Win and You’re In race, meaning the winner earns an automatic berth into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, with his entry fees paid plus a travel stipend.

The Met Mile will go as race 10 on an 11-race card that includes the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps for older fillies and mares, the Grade 1 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, and the Grade 2 Sands Point for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.

 

Metropolitan H., Post Time: 5:47 ET Monday

Purse: $750,000; 1 mile

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

To Honor And Serve

W. Mott

J. Lezcano

3-1

1

Shackleford

D. Romans

J. Velazquez

4-1

1

Caleb's Posse

D. Von Hemel

R. Maragh

8-5

1

Saginaw

D. Jacobson

D. Cohen

10-1

1

Caixa Electronica

T. Pletcher

J. Castellano

15-1

1

Jackson Bend

N. Zito

C. Nakatani

3-1