09/10/2013 1:06PM

Belmont Park: Jacobson duo both have a shot in Thursday feature

Tom Keyser
Hierro, who runs in Thursday’s first race, won the 2012 Derby Trial.

They saved the best for first on Thursday’s card, when the featured opener is an optional claimer with third-level allowance conditions.

Seven older males were entered in the one-mile race, worth $81,000, including the David Jacobson-trained entry of Cease and Pratereo, who were both entered for the $100,000 claiming price.

Jacobson claimed Cease for $100,000 out of a third-place finish at Saratoga on July 29. Cease finished behind Don Dulce and Aussi Austin, who also are entered back in this spot. Cease is a three-time winner at Saratoga and finished third there in the 2012 Woodward, but the 6-year-old gelding didn’t get another start on his favorite track after July 29 and comes off a 45-day break.

“I would’ve run him back at Saratoga, but it just didn’t work out,” Jacobson said. “Things didn’t fall into place.”

Jacobson claimed Pratereo from his seasonal bow July 7, a nose win over Don Dulce, and ran him back in this condition at Saratoga going seven furlongs, the shortest race the 5-year-old had run since his juvenile debut. After breaking slowest and trailing midway on the turn, he rallied belatedly to finish a close fifth.

“I thought he ran very well; got beat two lengths,” Jacobson said. “Stretching out might help a little, but I thought that was a good race for him. I’m still undecided whether they’ll both run, but I have two good options.”

Don Dulce beat Aussi Austin and Cease upstate, his second win in four starts off a claim by Jamie Ness, who has since turned the 5-year-old gelding over to Laura Perillo. He also is in for the $100,000 tag.

Bellamy Brew, Hierro, and Troilus are all relatively fresh, and any among the trio is capable of winning.

Bellamy Brew, a lightly raced Kinsman Stable homebred, has won 3 of 5 starts, all for Bill Mott. He makes his 5-year-old debut Thursday, 10 months after a career-best effort to win a second-level allowance at Aqueduct last fall.

In 2012, Hierro won the Grade 3 Derby Trial for former trainer Steve Asmussen, but went to the sidelines after finishing sixth in the Woody Stephens in his next start. He returned at Gulfstream to win a second-level allowance in February for new trainer Todd Pletcher and makes his first start since beating half the field in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on May 4.

Troilus was shelved for nearly a year and a half after a runner-up finish in the 2012 Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship for former trainer Marty Wolfson. He returned in early summer for new trainer Steve Asmussen, and this will be his third start back. In his last race, he finished fifth to subsequent Forego winner Strapping Groom in the Kid Russell overnight stakes at Saratoga.