05/17/2012 2:24PM

Belmont: Trickmeister wires Vanlandingham with Stay Thirsty second

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Trickmeister wraps up victory in the Vanlandingham as Stay Thirsty can not catch him.

Threatening the 1 1/16-mile track record, Trickmeister ($4.80) bounced back from an off-the-board finish in the Donn Handicap to wire Thursday's $88,200 Vanlandingham overnight stakes at Belmont Park over troubled even-money favorite Stay Thirsty.

Trickmeister broke alertly under Ramon Dominguez to quickly clear his four rivals, rolled through fractions of 23.23 seconds, 45.72, and 1:09.50 while racing in the two path, repelled a final try from Stay Thirsty in deep stretch after a mile in 1:33.58, and reached the wire 1 1/2 lengths in front.

"He came away from there like a rocket and relaxed for me well," said Dominguez. "It seemed that he always had a little extra. I was getting after him, but it seemed like he always had a little more in reserve. He galloped out very strong."

Trickmeister, who set the pace in the Donn before fading to sixth, won for the sixth time in seven career starts. He ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:39.86, just .48 of a second off Birdrun's 2009 record.

"That was a tough customer he faced today, and we couldn't be happier," said winning trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. "Naturally, our goal is the Whitney" on Aug. 4 at Saratoga. "I'd like to get another one of these races into him, and then run him in the Whitney. He loves that track."

Stay Thirsty, making his 4-year-old debut, raced along the inside while closest to the winner, lacked room approaching the quarter pole, and attempted to lug in after being taken outside the winner by Javier Castellano.

"It didn't work out for today, but in the long term this was a very good return race for him," said Castellano.

Stay Thirsty, who won the Travers, Jim Dandy, and Gotham last year, finished clear for second by three and one-half lengths. Trainer Todd Pletcher is targeting the Suburban (July 7) and Whitney for the 4-year-old.

"You figure in a race like this you wouldn't have to set a track record in order to win, but [Trickmeister] ran an awfully good race, and you have to give him credit for that," said Pletcher. "Coming off a six-month layoff and giving a horse like that six pounds is a tall order."

Arthur's Tale was third by nearly 10 lengths over Joan's Choice. Sastre finished last.