10/06/2012 6:49PM

Belmont Park: King David claims Jamaica Handicap as his

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Barbara D. Livingston
King David, with Rosie Napravnik riding, wins the Jamaica at 28-1.

ELMONT, N.Y. - King David went from a popular commodity at the claim box to an unlikely Grade 1 winner at Belmont Park Saturday, upsetting the $400,00 Jamaica Handicap by a half-length at odds of 28-1.King Kreesa, a 23-1 longshot who set the pace under Eddie Castro, finished second by three-quarters of a length over an unlucky Summer Front, who got stopped trying to rally along the rail under Ramon Dominguez.

Cogito was fourth followed by Dullahan, the 8-5 favorite, Shkspeare Shaliyah and Howe Great. Unbridled Command scratched.

Rosie Napravnik, who left New York for Kentucky this week because she felt there wasn't enough business for her here, rode the winner, her second consecutive Grade 1 victory on the card. One race earlier, she won the Grade 1 Champagne aboard Shanghai Bobby.

King David, a son of Hat Trick, was making his first start since being claimed for $35,000 by trainer Mike Maker on behalf of Scarlet Stable. Maker had tried to claim the horse for $25,000 in August at Saratoga, but lost a shake to Nick Canani.

"Mike saw this horse at Saratoga and lost a shake there, so he claimed him at Belmont," said Pearl Hagadorn, Maker's assistant who saddled the horse. "He looks for an athlete that he thinks can improve with his program, and he's brilliant at it."

Napravnik said the same thing, noting that she told Dominguez on a Friday night flight from Kentucky to New York that Maker "is very good at turning horses around and doing a great job with them, especially on the turf. Mike is a guy I ride with a lot of confidence for."

Napravnik had King David in third position while King Kreesa, a New York-bred who emerged from the claiming ranks to be a minor stakes winner, set fractions of 25.89 seconds for the quarter, 52.29 for the half and 1:18.15 for six furlongs over an inner turf course labeled good.

King David rallied three wide in the stretch while Summer Front, who was inside and fourth under Dominguez, was trying to find room along the rail.

There appeared to be a seam in midstretch but at the sixteenth pole, the hole closed and Dominguez had to steady on Summer Front.
"There was enough room, by the time I got there Eddie [Castro] realized I was coming through and he closed it and stopped all my chances," Dominguez said.

King David, meanwhile, had an unimpeded path to the lead and edged clear in deep stretch.

"This was a horse I'd been on and I liked even before Mike claimed him," said Napravnik, who had breezed the horse in the morning but had never ridden him in a race. "I always loved the way he went. He's got a really great demeanor and just tried as much as he could."

King David covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.91 and returned $58 to win. The all-King exacta returned $370.

Dullahan, who remains winless on turf, had never before raced on less than firm ground and didn't appear to care for it Saturday.

"When I took him outside going past the 3 1-2 [furlong marker] to let him get a little closer and let him pick it up, it felt to me like every time he went hard to the ground he was slipping a little bit," jockey Joel Rosario said. "I don't think that was the best ground for him."

HandicapperErni More than 1 year ago
Something went a miss with Dullahan. Didn't seem to like the wet turf. I think maybe Romans at this point should give the turf a look since SA will be a firmer ground but he still is thinking Classic which is a move I don't recommend. The winner was King David and Rosie Napravnik who had a big day today winning 2 Grade 1's and on the undercard. So she won 3 today at Belmont on what has been a great year for Rosie!! Rosie had a big day yesterday at Belmont park!! She won 2 grade 1's with shanghai bobby in the champagne and in the Jamaica in an upset with King David. You sure she should she go to New Orleans in the winter? 3 wins in NY yesterday just saying. .
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
listen, even though dullahan ran or didnt run,he obviously did not care for the less than firm going. it is a complete throw out and i hope romans decides to go in the mile and half breeders cup turf. dullahan will be better than 10/1 after this race and on santa anitas firm turf would be an outstanding bet. this horse needs a firm turf as his 3yearold debut at gulfstream shows. he was beaten but a victim of pace.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Boy, Rosie was hot today! And where did King David come from? Congrats to all his connections for a nice ride.
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Once again, Ramon tries to ride two horses and loses on both. He did a great job of taking the FAV - Dullahan - out of his game. SEE: how with 7/16 to go he lures the FAV to the rail only to beat him to the spot and then sits down on his mount. Dullahan never recovered, but as the race went on Ramon got stuck on the rail and even though he had a winner - IF he drifts to where the horse can run free - alas, he never does so. So as a result two hopeless long-shots somehow cross the wire on top in a Grade 1 race. Analysis: That intimidation factor works in claimers and maiden races where Ramon is King. Take out the MOST DANGEROUS horse and cruise to victory - but not so much in quality races. Summer Front was a winner if the jock just rode a good race - he DID NOT. It wasn't a claimer or maiden race. Sorry if that is uncomfortable.
Lucy Ohannessian More than 1 year ago
Did you lose a bet? Maybe if Ramon rode better he could actually win some of those quality races, eh? Perhaps he could even win an Eclipse some day! It always fascinates me the propensity here to armchair QB when you have trainers insisting on using these same supposed hacks as their go to rider? RD saved ground and if he had the horse to bull through would have done so....Summer Front does not act as well on soft turf and King Kreesa was dangerous on the front end. He *will* go on soft turf. Headstrong youngster is hard to settle and ran insanely well in last. This was an extremely haveable result if you took the course condition into consideration. Don't look for reasons why a rider lost you a race....redboard and become a better player.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Nice win. Boggy European turf course today.. Dullahan ..Classic. Or Dirt Mile. Shack Cigar Mile.. Two turns not for him. Fun day today.
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
Must be a misprint...Howe Great didn't win? Better check the ingredients in that Kool-Aid Barry!!!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
What a ride Rosie Napravnik gave on King David. It was beautiful. Congratulations to King David and all of his brand new connections on an unexpected, yet fun-to-watch, win. Rosie was on fire today at Belmont, she was in the zone in the stakes races. She kept urging King David to pick it up another notch the whole way to the finish line. Congratulations to Rosie not only on the win on King David, but on her win on Shanghai Bobby in the Champagne Stakes as well. Way to go, Rosie!! the runners up in the race, King Kreesa and Summer Front ran very competitively, especially King Kreesa, who battled to the wire. The way Eddie Castro on place horse King Kreesa slammed the shut on Ramon Dominquez coming up the rail aboard Summer Front was interesting viewing. Summer Front's chances were effectively over at that point. It was a good race.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Rosie doesn't get enough credit. Give her a horse and she right ther with the top. Ramon wasn't happy.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Totally agree with you, Thomas.