Updated on 09/16/2011 7:27AM

Belmont: Celtic Sky sharp off layoff


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Christophe Clement had Celtic Sky ready off a six-month layoff, and jockey Jose Santos gave the 4-year-old colt a heady ride en route to a three-quarter-length victory in the $85,575 Kingston Handicap at Belmont Park.

Reluctant Groom, who made all the pace at odds of 31-1, held second, a head over 7-5 favorite I'm All Yours.

Santos kept Celtic Sky ($11.60) in a stalking position along the inside before angling him outside for the stretch drive. Santos did a magnificent job keeping I'm All Yours and Jerry Bailey boxed in along the hedge in the stretch. By the time Bailey got I'm All Yours out, it was too late.

Celtic Sky, making his first start since Dec. 1, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.03 over a firm turf.

"It was a great run coming back off the layoff," Clement said. "He had bit of racing luck. Santos rode a great race to box I'm All Yours in, but you can't take away from the way my horse finished."