10/02/2010 6:24PM

Haynesfield cruises to Jockey Club Gold Cup win

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Barbara D. Livingston
Haynesfield, with Ramon Dominguez up, goes wire to wire in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Quality speed left unchallenged proved an unbeatable formula Saturday at Belmont Park as the New York-bred Haynesfield led every step of the way under Ramon Dominguez to upset odds-on favorite Blame by four lengths in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational.

Blame, who had won five consecutive races and was coming off a victory over Quality Road in the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 7, finished second by two lengths over Fly Down. It was six lengths back to Hold Me Back, who was followed in the order of finish by Rail Trip and Tranquil Manner. Dry Martini and Mythical Power scratched.

The victory was the ninth in 13 career starts for Haynesfield, who earlier in the year won the Grade 2 Suburban over this track. He is now 5 for 6 at Belmont.

This was by far his most impressive effort considering who he beat and how he did it.

Breaking sharply under Dominguez, Haynesfield ran out to an uncontested lead through an opening quarter in 24.63 seconds, a half-mile in 48.74, and six furlongs in 1:13.24. At that point he held a three-length lead over Rail Trip, and Blame was six lengths behind.

Haynesfield was going comfortably, but according to Dominguez, he wanted to go faster.

“I was so amazed when we got the half-mile pole and he switched to his left lead and he wanted to take off,” Dominguez said. “I said ‘What I do? I don’t want to discourage him that bad, at the same time I don’t want to open up five on the field because it’s too early in the race.”

Haynesfield continued running swiftly, running a mile in 1:37.06 and completing the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.48. He returned $17 to win.

“He was all horse today,” Dominguez said.

Garrett Gomez, the rider of Blame, said his horse could not keep up with Haynesfield.

“At the half-mile pole Ramon’s horse hit another gear and started going, there wasn’t nothing I could do about it,” Gomez said. “My horse down the lane never really bore down and ran because that horse was so far in front of him. He didn’t have anything to look at in the eye. He ran good, but I was hoping he’d run a little better."

Haynesfield is trained by Steve Asmussen  - who won this race in 2007-08 with Curlin - but assistant trainer Toby Sheets has overseen the colt’s training throughout his career.

Owner Harvey Weinstein said a decision on running Haynesfield in the Breeders’ Cup Classic would be left up to Sheets.

“He says jump. I ask how high?” Weinstein said. “Who’s going to argue with Toby at this point?”

Blame suffered his first loss since he finished second to a loose-on-the-lead Regal Ransom in last year’s Super Derby. Noting that Blame hadn’t lost a race since until Saturday, trainer Al Stall said he is still very much looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

“It reminded me of the Super Derby last year and we did well after that,” Stall said. “It’s two full turns with a three-sixteenths plus run from the gate to the first turn, that changes everything dramatically. We’re in good shape.”