Updated on 09/17/2011 3:02PM

Medallist impressive winner of Dwyer


ELMONT, N.Y. - Medallist turned in an eye-popping performance to win Sunday's $150,000 at Belmont Park by 3 3/4 lengths in near-track record time.

The Cliff's Edge, the 3-5 favorite coupled in the wagering with Sir Shackleton, finished second. Sir Shackleton finished third, a half-length behind The Cliff's Edge.

It was another 14 1/2 lengths back to Golden Look, who was followed under the wire by Preachinatthebar and Shaniko in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. Ecclesiastic scratched.

Medallist, ridden by Jorge Chavez, shot to the early lead in the Grade 2 Dwyer. After an opening quarter-mile in 22.83 seconds, Medallist's half-mile clocking was 44.45. Down the backstretch, Medallist held a six-length advantage over Sir Shackleton, who raced in second position. Around the turn, Medallist's lead increased to eighth lengths with six furlongs run in a scorching 1:07.96.

The Cliff's Edge, ridden by Shane Sellers, trailed the field by more than a dozen lengths for the first half-mile. He made a strong run and cut into Medallist's lead in the stretch, but the race was over by then.

After a mile run in 1:33.27, Medallist's final time over a fast track was 1:40.02, a stakes record. The track record is 1:39.51, set in 1998 by Rock and Roll.

Medallist returned $8.80.

Chavez said he knew Medallist was flying, but didn't want interfere with the horse's natural speed.

"He had enough speed to finish, and I never had to get into him with the whip," Chavez said

Medallist provided his Hall of Fame trainer, Allen Jerkens, with his first Dwyer win. Medallist, a son of Touch Gold, is owned and bred by Robert Clay.

In his last race, Medallist won the Grade 3 Withers by 3 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct on May 1. In the Withers, he drifted out several paths in the stretch. In the Dwyer, Jerkens equipped Medallist with a burr bit, which applies pressure to a horse's mouth if he tries to bear out.

"When a horse is happy doing something, he will do it," Jerkens said regarding Medallist's speedy nature.

Jerkens said the $500,000 Jim Dandy on Aug. 8 at Saratoga is possible for Medallist's next start.

Nick Zito, who trains The Cliff's Edge and Sir Shackleton, said he was "delighted" with the efforts from both his horses. The Cliff's Edge, who was making his first start since finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby, will run next in the Jim Dandy. Zito said he hadn't decided on Sir Shackleton's next start.