07/18/2009 12:00AM

Heros Reward near $1 million mark

Photos By Z/Keeneland
Heros Reward (left), winning the Shakertown at Keeneland, is 11 for 31 lifetime.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Heros Reward could pass a major milestone Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park: $1 million in career earnings.

The 7-year-old gelding, less than $6,000 short of the mark, faces five rivals going six furlongs on the turf.

Grass sprints have long been the bread and butter for Heros Reward, 11 for 31 in his distinguished career. Most recently, Heros Reward was a rallying third in the Grade 3 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine, a race he won in 2008.

"He ran well," said trainer Dale Capuano. "He hit the side of the gate and broke last. He usually breaks fairly well. He was at a disadvantage, spotting those horses that much ground."

Usual pilot Javier Castellano will be aboard.

Yield Bogey was also third last time out, in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at one mile at Belmont. Trainer Pat Kelly feels the distance cut-back for the Jaipur will help the 5-year-old gelding.

"This is right in his wheelhouse," Kelly said. "The mile was about as far as we wanted to go. We took a chance in the Poker because they had a small field. Getting third was good."

And good enough for a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

"If he runs back to that, we'll be all right. We'll give this a whirl."

Yield Bogey is 1-1-2 in 6 Belmont grass races with victory coming in a second-level allowance at seven furlongs on May 23.

Jean-Luc Samyn will ride.

Hall of Famer Allen Jerkins has won the Jaipur four times in the last 10 years. He will saddle Le Grand Cru, a pacesetting winner most recently on the dirt in a first-level allowance.

"Usually these races have a lot of speed," Jerkens said. "They usually have 14 in there, so the smaller field should help."

Mike Luzzi will ride from the outside post.

Mohegan Sky, the only mare in the field, is back for another try. She was a close-up third in last year's Jaipur, beaten only a half-length.

Due Date and Silver Timber complete the field.

Premium Wine was entered for the main track only.

The Jaipur lost a runner when the New York State Racing and Wagering Board scratched True Quality because of "insufficient proof" that Paraneck Stable no longer has ownership interest in the colt.

Paraneck disbanded after animal cruelty charges were filed against the family-owned stable's authorized agent, Ernie Paragallo.