06/07/2013 6:34PM

Belmont Park: Albertrani runs 1-2 in Jaipur Stakes despite DQ

Barbara D. Livingston
Souper Speedy (left) and Big Screen battle to the wire in the Grade 3 Jaipur. Big Screen finished first but was disqualified.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Tom Albertrani was praying for rain this weekend at Belmont Park – not only for Freedom Child in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes but to force Friday’s $150,000 Jaipur Stakes from the turf to the main track, a switch in venue that would give him two big opportunities to win the Grade 3 fixture with Big Screen and Souper Speedy.

Sure enough, the rains came, the Jaipur was ultimately decided over a sloppy main track, and Albertrani wound up with the top two finishers in a scratched-reduced field of five. Big Screen appeared to be the winner after outlasting his uncoupled stablemate Souper Speedy by a head. But Big Screen was ultimately disqualified and placed second behind Souper Speedy after drifting and impeding that rival through the late stages of the seven-furlong Jaipur.

Big Screen, who also would have contested the Jaipur if the race stayed on the grass, broke in stride and quickly opened a clear advantage on his four rivals while setting a rapid early pace over the wet surface. Souper Speedy, entered for “main track only” by Albertrani, was well placed from the outset, began gaining gradually outside the leader once settling into the stretch, but fell just short with his bid while being forced out and eventually bumped by the tiring Big Screen near the wire.

Following an inquiry, the stewards reversed the original order of finish, awarding the victory and the $90,000 first-place prize to Souper Speedy.

Politicallycorrect, who ducked out at the break to impede Reload, improved position into the stretch, lugged in leaving the furlong grounds, and offered only a mild closing response. Reload was roughed at the start between horses, rushed briefly to contention, but was done after five furlongs while finishing a well-beaten fourth. Next Question tired badly, finishing fifth and last.

Souper Speedy, a 4-year-old homebred son of Indian Charlie owned by Live Oak Plantation, was making his first stakes start since finishing second in the Grade 2 Remsen more than 17 months earlier. He completed the distance in 1:22.09 under jockey Jose Lezcano and paid $5.10 as the tepid favorite.

“I knew both horses were going to be very tough if the race came off the grass, it was just a matter of which one was going to be better than the other today, and in the final strides I was actually rooting for a dead heat,” Albertrani said. “I didn’t see the head on replay, and, to be honest, I was surprised when I saw the change in the order of finish. Unfortunately, for an owner, you hate to see that happen. But both horses ran huge.”

Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Good call..period
WarChant More than 1 year ago
that argument is silly.......NYRA paid out the same amount of money, whichever horse was on top. lower payoutis merely a reflection of the number of tickets on that order of finish, NYRA did not put any extra money in their pocket by reversing the order
Tom Blake More than 1 year ago
typical NYRA..........raining like a son of a gun, no need to try to figure out who will win the race so that they can lower their payouts. Better said, the pay out would have been much more with the 5 in front......especially with the 10 year old winning the race in the 10th. Give me a break............NY horse racing is in the sewers...........it is all corrupt. There is no way that 5 kept 12 from winning..............other horses have done more and gotten less than number 5. Someone really needs to eliminate horse racing in NY and bring back some reality to the game. Corruption!!!
phil bailey More than 1 year ago
holy crap.Are there enough whiners in the world without adding the conspiracy theorist in there. Holy crap bud..put down the tinfoil helmet, stop smoking the gunga...get off the dole and get a life. By the way, stop sleeping in the industrial bin.
David Sias More than 1 year ago
"Gunga?" Really? What the heck does that have to do with anything? The rest was funny.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Tom you don't understand parimutuel wagering and takeout do you
James McGaughan More than 1 year ago
Sorry man that's crazy. Big Screen drifted out 12-15 paths and if he remained straight would have gotten beat by open lengths. Watch the head on, they would have taken him down in a 5,000 claimer. He should have been placed 3rd. I know it sucks to get taken down (has happened to me several times) but they have to make that call.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Big Screen was the best horse today. I've seen horses drift much worse under left handed whip and remain the winner. I know rules are rules but when an allowance horse drifts and wins under very similar circumstances nothing happens. If you're going to dq one Guy for smart riding ( Ortiz rode Big Screen) then I would hope the same applies for others. Sad outcome for Dogwood and their colt. I'm sure the fact he beat a 3/2 favorite didn't help.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
I agree. That was a very questionable DQ.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Especially without any objection from lezcano. Was race riding by Irad. Castellano or JV wouldn't even have brought the inquiry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not only did he ride him out...he made contact...obvious d.q.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
What race were. You watching
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
Only questionable if you haven't any vision
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
That was a no brainer DQ, did you even watch the head on? Ortiz was hitting BS with the right stick and tried to straighten him out, but it just wasn't happening. Obvious DQ, no days for Ortiz. The best horse got the money......