06/06/2012 12:46PM

Belmont Park: Repeat in Jaipur a tough task for Right One

Barbara D. Livingston
Right One will be looking for a repeat victory in Friday's Grade 3 Jaipur.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Right One already had three races under his belt when he rallied to a popular head victory over Yield Bogey in the 2011 edition of the $150,000 Jaipur at Belmont Park. But when Right One returns to defend his title Friday in the Grade 3 Jaipur, he’ll come into the race having run just once since November, a fact that is of some concern to his trainer, Christophe Clement.

“He wasn’t necessarily a better horse going into this race last year, but he was fitter,” said Clement who trains the homebred Right One for Ghislaine Head. “We gave him a break, and I think he was not 100 percent fit going into his last start at Keeneland. He’s done very well since then, but unfortunately I could not train him the way I wanted the last two weeks because of the weather. I don’t train him in the slop, and I might be one work shorter than I would be going into this race if we’d had a better track.”

Right One won 3 of 7 starts in 2011, including the Jaipur. He also finished third, beaten a neck, in the Woodbine Mile. Right One rallied from the rear of the pack over Keeneland’s artificial surface to join the leaders near midstretch before tiring to finish third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Lonesome Street, in his only start this season in the Grade 2 Commonwealth.

Clement also is worried about the relative lack of speed in the Jaipur. Right One ran down Yield Bogey to win the race last summer and figures to have the same horse to catch again Saturday.

“There wasn’t much pace in the race last year, and there doesn’t appear to be again Saturday, which is not good,” Clement said. “But there’s nothing you can do about that with my horse. With him, you just have to wait and come late.”

Yield Bogey, who has been second in each of the last two renewals of the Jaipur, has not started since finishing 12th and last in the six-furlong Nearctic last October at Woodbine but has trained steadily for his return.

Bergerac finished second as the tepid favorite in the Commonwealth after taking the lead in early stretch. It was his first start since being claimed by trainer Chad Brown for owner Paul Pompa Jr. for $80,000 out of his 2012 debut this winter at Gulfstream Park.

Shintoh is the unknown factor in the Jaipur, making his U.S. debut for trainer Allen Jerkens and his first start since fall 2010. Shintoh won his maiden at seven furlongs as a 2-year-old, but was Group 3 placed going 1 1/4 miles on a couple of occasions in Ireland at 3.

Leave of Absence, who is multiple stakes placed but relatively untested on grass; the graded stakes-placed Boots Ahead, Upgrade, Senor Dehere, and Ponzi Scheme (main track only) complete the lineup.