07/01/2010 11:00PM

I Want Revenge returning at last


ELMONT, N.Y. - The improbable comeback of I Want Revenge reaches a climax Saturday when he returns from a 15-month layoff in the Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

The morning-line favorite for the 2009 Kentucky Derby based on victories in the Grade 3 Gotham and Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, I Want Revenge was scratched the morning of the Derby with an ankle injury. He was later found to have torn ligaments that required surgery and were expected to end the colt's career. But the horse recovered and after a whirlwind of activity off the track -- ending with the IEAH Stables buying out original owner David Lanzman, who bred and raced the colt solely for the first seven starts - I Want Revenge is ready to make an impact on the track.

His new trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., has marveled how well the colt has trained since coming into his barn in early April. Dutrow said after the colt worked five furlongs on May 30 - his fifth work back - he started thinking Suburban.

"After his first five-eighths I said this is unbelievable, if he keeps going this way he'll be ready to run in five weeks," Dutrow said. "I'd rather do a one-turn race because I think it'd be easier for him. I started looking around, and this is this race we came up with."

I Want Revenge, to be ridden by Joe Talamo, is tactical enough to be in the race from the outset. But Dutrow would rather see I Want Revenge behind horses early and, toward that end, has entered Pictural as a pacesetter, or rabbit. The added benefit to Pictural's presence is to make sure the front-running Regal Ransom, a multiple graded winner who is coming back from an eight-month layoff, doesn't get loose on the lead.

Though Regal Ransom won the Grade 2 Super Derby in front-running fashion and was the pacesetter for the first mile of the Breeders' Cup Classic, his connections maintain he does not need the lead.

"He's sat off in races before, and he's drawn well enough," said Rick Mettee, Godolphin's New York-based assistant. "It's going to be tough to win nine furlongs off the bench, but from his standpoint we're happy with where he is. We've had this race marked for quite a while."

Of the remaining runners, Convocation and Haynesfield would appear to have the best chance at an upset. Convocation was fourth in the Metropolitan Mile, while the New York-bred Haynesfield has won 7 of 10 starts, including the Grade 3 Discovery last year.