05/19/2010 11:00PM

New Madrid doubtful for Belmont after fifth on turf

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New Madrid's status as a Belmont Stakes starter took a hit Thursday when the 3-year-old could manage no better than a fifth-place finish in a first-level turf allowance race at Belmont.

After dueling outside of Syo Defenceman through modest fractions, New Madrid could not quicken when the real running started in the stretch and he was beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Kindergarden Kid, who rallied powerfully four wide in the stretch. Jockey John Velazquez said New Madrid was "one-paced."

"The grass is very soft for him, he's going well, and I'm holding him together; when I got after him he couldn't quicken," Velazquez said. "I think he's okay though. He's not a bad horse. I like him. If he's going to run on the grass, he needs a little firmer ground."