10/01/2006 11:00PM

Discreet Cat displays speed in Jerome romp


Discreet Cat did as he was expected in Sunday's Grade 2, $158,800 at Belmont Park, he just did it a little differently than he was expected to do it.

Showing more speed than he had in his previous start, Discreet Cat made the lead a little more than a furlong into the one-mile Jerome under Garrett Gomez, then simply galloped around the main track en route to a 10 1/4-length victory over Valid Notebook. It was 7 1/2 lengths back to Nar in third. Quietly Go and Noonmark completed the order of finish while Spring at Last scratched.

Discreet Cat ran fractions of 22.88 seconds, 45.84, 1:11.06, and covered the mile in 1:36.46 over a good track without being asked for run. He returned $2.10 as the 1-20 favorite.

The victory was the fifth in as many career starts for Discreet Cat, a son of Forestry owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Godolphin Racing. It was his second straight romp in this country after returning from Dubai. In September, Discreet Cat rallied strongly from off the pace to win a third-level allowance race by 11 lengths. Sunday, he was eager to run from the outset.

"What we tried to do with him the other day was to try and get him to settle," Gomez said. "Today, he left there with run on his mind. When I got to the backside, he was doing it so easy and a couple of them couldn't keep up From the five-eighths pole to the quarter pole, I got him into a nice little stride and he got really comfortable."

Belmont's track was muddy early in the day but was upgraded to good before the Jerome.

"I was surprised he was in front, but I was quietly pretty happy where he was because I knew he was handling that racetrack," said Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer for Godolphin Racing.

Saeed bin Suroor, the head trainer for Godolphin who was in attendance Sunday, said he was very impressed with Discreet Cat's performance and would discuss the colt's future with Sheikh Mohammed when he returns to Dubai.