07/02/2011 6:42PM

Belmont Park: Flat Out pulls off Suburban surprise

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flat Out, with Alex Solis riding, wins the Suburban.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Chaos continues to reign in the older male division, as two weeks after Pool Play, the longest shot on the board, won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, Flat Out won Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park as the longest shot in the six-horse field.

And Flat Out didn't just win, he buried his five opponents, taking over in upper stretch under Alex Solis and drawing clear to an authoritative 6 1/2-length victory over Hymn Book. It was one length back to even-money favorite Rodman in third. Convocation, Colizeo, and Icabad Crane completed the order of finish.

The win was the first for Flat Out since he took a second-level allowance race at Fair Grounds last Dec. 10. Sidelined in the middle of his 3-year-old campaign by a cracked shoulder and then plagued by quarter cracks on all four feet, the 5-year-old Flat Out was making just the ninth start of his career in the Suburban.

"We got his feet healed up now," said winning trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey. "He's doing really well. He loves to train. He's just a super horse. We gave him time and waited on him, and he's paying us back for waiting."

Actually, Dickey didn't wait long to run Flat Out back after he finished sixth in the Stephen Foster just two weeks ago. Dickey isn't sure why Flat Out didn't perform better that day, though he surmised being on the rail wasn't the place to be.

In Saturday's Suburban, Solis had Flat Out in fifth position and four wide down the backstretch as Rodman, under Javier Castellano, assumed the lead after a tardy beginning. He set fractions of 23.95 seconds, 47.02 and 1:10.65 while being stalked by Colizeo and Hymn Book.

Around the far turn, Solis had Flat Out make a four-wide sweep to the leaders and inside the three-sixteenths pole he took charge and drew away from there. Flat Out, a son of Flatter owned by Preston Stables, covered the 1 1-8 miles in 1:46.64 and returned $29.20 to win.

"The other morning I went to get on him and I took him around there, and he was having so much on the track," Solis said. "I told Mr. Dickey 'This horse, he might run big, because he really enjoys this track, the long turns and sandy [footing].' He loves it, and he proved that today."

Dickey, who had not run a horse at Belmont Park in 20 years, gave credit to the Louisiana-based blacksmith Tom Wildy, for fixing Flat Out's feet.

"He had four bar shoes on at one time," Dickey said. "The back ones weren't that bad but we had bar shoes. He's got regular shoes on - a couple of them are three-quarters. Tom Wildy's done a marvelous job."

Having run him twice in two weeks, Dickey said he would likely give Flat Out a little break and consider races such as the Iselin at Monmouth Park on Aug 20 or the Woodward at Saratoga on Sept. 3 for the horse's next start.

"Our goal is to try and make the Breeders' Cup this fall," Dickey said.