05/08/2016 6:36PM

Joking strikes at 16-1 in Diablo Stakes

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Joking confirms his fondness for a wet track by winning the Diablo under Manny Franco.

Joking rallied from last place as one of the longest-priced runners in the $100,000 Diablo Stakes at Belmont Park on Sunday and was up to take the lead from 6-5 favorite Ready for Rye in deep stretch.

Joking, owned and trained by Charlton Baker, trailed only Ready for Rye early in the six-furlong Diablo, which was run over a muddy, sealed track. When Ready for Rye went out to lodge his bid four-wide on the far turn, Joking stayed closer to the inside under jockey Manny Franco, then swung out wide nearing the stretch.

Ready for Rye overtook pacesetting El Deal in midstretch and looked headed to victory but Joking kept coming and was up to win by three-quarters of a length. He paid $34.40 as the second-longest price in the seven-horse field. He was timed in 1:09.44 after El Deal cut out fractions of 22.12 and 45.11 seconds.

"He was doing as good as he possibly could," Baker said. "I thought he might be a little outclassed but he has a good record over a wet track."

Joking now has a 4-3-1-0 record over wet tracks. Baker claimed him for $20,000 in January 2014. He has since won 7 of 25 starts and earned $425,176. Overall, Joking, a 7-year-old gelding, is now 8 for 37.

Joking came into the Diablo off a 1 1/4-length victory in a high-level optional race at Aqueduct. He was entered for a $100,000 claiming price that day. Two starts back, he finished second by a neck in an optional race while entered for a $62,500 tag.

El Deal set the early pace while being stalked by Green Gratto, who was up to finish third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Ready for Rye. El Deal was fourth, 1 1/4 lengths farther back.

Dads Cap, three wide in the second flight early, tired to finish last.