06/05/2010 12:00AM

Bribon takes True North going away

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - Who says you can't teach old horses new tricks? Don't tell it to Bribon, an erstwhile miler who looped the field to win the six-furlong, going away.

Last of eight into the far turn, as his stablemate Checklist slugged it out with Formidable through fractions of 22.29 and 45.60 seconds, Bribon swung widest while gathering a head of steam near the quarter pole, and finished with a flourish to win the Grade 2 sprint by 1 1/2 lengths under Garrett Gomez.

"There were quite a few horses with speed, and I just needed to find a place for him to settle into a simple rhythm and then quicken when I asked him" said Gomez.

Bribon was purchased by Derrick Smith and given over to Todd Pletcher at the conclusion of a 6-year-old campaign that included a win in the Westchester and Met Mile. He was held out of last week's Met Mile after running a disappointing fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Westchester opening day, and discretion proved the better part of valor given the strength of Quality Road's performance.

"I thought with Quality Road in the Met Mile, it could open a lot of options for Bribon . . . and he's just a very versatile horse," said Pletcher, who added that, "I thought Checklist ran huge. I think the track may not be real speed-favoring."

Bribon, a 7-year-old gelding by Mark of Esteem, won for the 10th time in 33 career starts, but this was just his second victory at six furlongs, the first coming in 2007.

Bribon, carrying top weight of 118 pounds, ran the distance in 1:09.63 on a fast track, and earned $150,000 to become racing's newest millionaire with a bankroll of $1,038,763. He paid $7.50 as the second choice.

Snapshot stalked the duel, challenged for the lead just inside the eighth pole and held well to finish second by 4 1/4 lengths over favored Checklist.

Formidable, Elusive Warning, More Than a Reason, Fantasy Free, and Gato Go Win completed the order of finish.

Custom for Carlos, the morning-line favorite, was scratched after a stall injury Friday night.

"We're not sure how it happened, but he tore a piece of hoof wall off a front leg," said trainer Eddie Kenneally. "He'll be fine, but will miss a couple days of training."