06/07/2012 12:31PM

Belmont: Teeth of the Dog finds softer spot in Easy Goer


ELMONT, N.Y. – Teeth of the Dog drops in class after respectable efforts in two Grade 1 stakes, and will be the one to beat in the $100,000 Easy Goer Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Nine 3-year-olds entered the 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer, which begins an all stakes pick six with a $1 million guaranteed pool. Post time is scheduled for 2:34 p.m. Eastern.

Teeth of the Dog improved over the winter at Gulfstream Park for trainer Michael Matz, culminating with a maiden win against a field that included Went the Day Well, subsequently fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

Named for a famous golf course in the Caribbean, Teeth of the Dog made his first start against winners nine weeks later, and finished a surprising third in the Wood Memorial at better than 50-1. He was scratched from the Peter Pan in favor of a start in the Preakness, and finished fifth.

Brimstone Island, a Tiznow colt who was running in low-level claiming races earlier this year, will attract support after running a clear second to Paynter and earning a career-best 96 Beyer Figure.

Since being claimed by owner-trainer William Campbell, Brimstone Island has finished in the money in three stakes on the Maryland circuit, along with a troubled fifth in the $260,000 Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes at Charles Town.

“I’d seen him in there for $9,000 and figured something had to be wrong with the horse, or they didn’t think much of him,” Campbell said. “They ran him back for $16,000, and I figured he’s got to be worth a shot. “He seemed okay so I decided to take a shot in [the Miracle Wood] and he ran big, so we did it again. His breeding is great, so supposedly there are big things in the future. He’s a big, good-looking colt, and he’s got an attitude, which you like to see in a younger horse.”

Other contenders include Inflation Target, the lone entrant with a race over the track; and Skyring, who has won his last two starts for D. Wayne Lukas, including the James W. Murphy Stakes.