07/09/2016 6:18PM

Fish Trappe Road's victory in Dwyer leaves him with good options


ELMONT, N.Y. --  The Grade 1 King’s Bishop or Grade 2 Jim Dandy? Those are pretty good options to have for any trainer, and those are the options Bret Calhoun will ponder with Fish Trappe Road following the steadily improving 3-year-old’s 1 1/4-length victory over the 6-5 favorite Economic Model in Saturday’s $500,000 Dwyer at Belmont Park.

Fish Trappe Road has become a different horse since returning from a four-month layoff to register an easy allowance win at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. He followed that with a second place in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on Belmont day, before becoming a graded stakes winner for the first time with his victory going in the Grade 3 Dwyer.

With Luis Saez aboard, Fish Trappe Road sat a perfect trip after breaking from the extreme outside in the field of eight 3-year-olds, stalking the early pace set by longshot The Great Whiteway and prompted by the Grade 1-placed maiden Laoban in the one-mile Jim Dandy. Fish Trappe Road readily overtook Laoban to gain command on settling into the stretch, edged clear while lugging in near the rail approaching the eighth pole, then maintained a safe advantage under pressure to the wire.

Economic Model raced well-placed while saving ground, came through a narrow opening inside the tiring Laoban nearing mid-stretch, eased out from behind the winner to continue his bid, but lacked the necessary response - although was able to out-game Tale of S’avali to be second.

Fish Trappe Road, a New York-bred son of Trappe Shot owned by Martin Racing Stable LLC, completed the distance in 1:34.84 and paid $8.70.

“When the post positions came out, I felt really good because it gave Luis a lot of options out there, and he rode him perfectly,” Calhoun said. “I played this race out in my head for several days. I thought those two would be out there like they were, maybe we’d get first run, and Economic Model might have a hard time getting to him. And that’s exactly how it played out.”

Calhoun credits Fish Trappe Road’s recent improvement to maturity, both physically and mentally, from 2 to 3.

“He was a big baby as a 2-year-old, but it’s all coming together for him now,” Calhoun said. “He’s grown and blossomed, gotten bigger and stronger physically, and a lot more serious mentally. I’ve never questioned this horse’s distance ability. Now we know he’s pretty solid at seven furlongs and a mile. The decision we’ll have to make in the coming weeks is whether to keep him at seven furlongs for the King’s Bishop, or to take on the better ones at a mile and one-eighth in the Jim Dandy.”