Updated on 09/17/2011 10:44AM

Iron Deputy wire to wire

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Iron Deputy wins the Brooklyn Handicap 2 1/2 lengths in front of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Volponi Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. - His 3-year-old campaign interrupted by injuries, Iron Deputy began making up for lost time Saturday with a surprisingly easy 2 1/2-length win in the Grade 2, $250,000 before 7,121 at soggy Belmont Park.

Volponi, the Breeders' Cup Classic winner, had to alter course several times from the half-mile pole to the wire, and settled for second, three lengths ahead of Saarland. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to fourth-place finisher Evening Attire, last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup winner. Harlan's Holiday, the Donn Handicap winner and 2-1 Brooklyn favorite, finished last after breaking slowly.

It was the first graded stakes victory for Iron Deputy, a 4-year-old son of Silver Deputy owned by Susan and John Moore and trained by Jimmy Jerkens.

The Brooklyn was just the fourth start in 17 months for Iron Deputy, who at 2 won the Huntington Stakes and five days into his year 3-year-old year took the Count Fleet. But, he came out of the Count Fleet with a fractured cannon bone.

When Iron Deputy returned to the races in August in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, he was making a strong move in the stretch when he clipped heels with another horse and unseated jockey Richard Migliore. Iron Deputy came out of that race with a grabbed quarter that developed into a quarter crack and effectively ended his season.

In his second start this year, Iron Deputy romped to an 11 1/4-length victory in a third-level allowance race on May 4.

After a relatively pleasant afternoon, heavy thunderstorms began 65 minutes before post time for the Brooklyn, creating a sloppy track.

Iron Deputy, the low weight in the field at 114 pounds under Richard Migliore, set the early pace and carved out fractions of 23.46 seconds, 46.84, and 1:10.03 while being chased by Volponi and Saarland.

Around the turn, Jose Santos tried to guide Volponi off the rail, but a tiring Saarland was in his way. So Santos switched back to the inside before switching again to the outside in the stretch. Meanwhile, Iron Deputy was gone, covering the nine furlongs in 1:47.84. He returned $15.20 as the longest price in the five-horse field.

"He showed me since he's a 2-year-old he's a good horse," Migliore said. "It's just been a disappointing setback after another that he never got to fully realize his potential. I had a lot of confidence going into this race that he belonged with these horses and he showed that today."

Harlan's Holiday, making his first start since running second in the Dubai World Cup, broke slowly. Though he moved into contention down the backside, he failed to fire. Jockey John Velazquez said Harlan's Holiday didn't handle the sloppy track.