10/10/2012 4:37PM

Belmont: Jacobson has stakes weapons no matter what the surface

Tom Keyser
Upgrade won the Grade 3 Jaipur going seven furlongs over firm Belmont turf in June.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Regardless over what surface Friday’s $80,000 Rob ‘n Gin Stakes is run, trainer David Jacobson will have a solid chance to win.

If the Rob ‘n Gin is run at seven furlongs over Belmont Park’s Widener turf course as scheduled, Jacobson will be live with Boots Ahead. If, because of persistent rains that finally subsided Wednesday morning, the race is moved to the dirt at seven furlongs, Jacobson has the uncoupled entry of Saginaw and Fiddlers Afleet to run.

Jacobson and his primary client, the Drawing Away Stable, claimed Boots Ahead for $35,000 at Saratoga on Aug. 15, winning a two-way shake that included trainer Bill Mott.

“I was very lucky that day when I outshook Bill Mott to get him,” said Jacobson, who is the leading trainer at the Belmont fall meet with 14 wins from 34 starters. “It’s a good feeling you’re shaking with someone like Bill Mott.”

In his first start for Jacobson, Boots Ahead won a one-mile optional claimer by a neck, his third win from 10 starts at Belmont. Offered for $50,000 that day, Boots Ahead was not claimed.

“Perfect, couldn’t ask for any more,” Jacobson said. “I liked the race I claimed him out of too. He’s in top form.”

The Rob ‘n Gin was called the Home of the Brave on Sept. 29 when that card was canceled because of the threat of inclement weather. Six of the eight horses entered for that race are back in this race.

The extra two weeks means Boots Ahead will have 24 days between starts as opposed to 12.

“I’m happy with the timing. He’s doing good,” Jacobson said. “I think it’s a tough race as all stakes in New York are, but he’s one of the tough horses in there.”

Another tough one could be Beau Choix, who won the Rob ‘n Gin last year when it was run at 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in July. Beau Choix, trained by Barclay Tagg, has not won since then but did finish a good second over yielding turf at Saratoga in August.

Upgrade won the Grade 3 Jaipur going seven furlongs over firm Belmont turf in June. His trainer, Michelle Nihei, likes cutting back to seven furlongs but believes her 5-year-old gelding prefers firm ground.

Crossbow, who will be trying turf for the first time, and Yield Bogey, winless in his last 14 races dating back to June 25, 2010, are the primary speed horses in the field. Surfrider, a winner sprinting on turf here in June, also has some speed.

Saint Pierre, who comes off a course-record performance at Laurel last out, and Awakino Cat, who won a $35,000 claimer on Sept. 14, are two horses not entered when this race was originally carded on Sept. 29.