09/21/2006 12:00AM

Stakes jitters gone for King of the Roxy


When King of the Roxy ran in last month's Saratoga Special, he was making the always difficult jump from maiden to graded stakes company and had to face the more seasoned stakes winner Chace City. Making his first start for Todd Pletcher, King of the Roxy ran a respectable race and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length.

When King of the Roxy runs in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park, he will have the experience edge over several good-looking debut winners trying to make the jump into graded stakes competition.

A son of the Littleexpectations, King of the Roxy appeared to be getting a perfect stalking trip in the Saratoga Special, but Chace City put away the pace challenge from Actin Good and went on to victory.

Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez said they felt King of the Roxy ran well in the Saratoga Special, but believe there is room for improvement.

"He rated very kind, was in a good position, and by the three-eighths pole I thought he was going to really run by them," Velazquez said. "I thought if my horse had put in a little more effort he could have gone by [Chace City]. The other horse went to the inside and my horse was by himself, and he didn't pay that much attention to him and still ran a really good race. Hopefully, he puts it together mentally."

C P West and Incriminate both won their debuts at Saratoga in solid fashion. C P West, trained by Nick Zito, showed the ability to stalk and won by 2 3/4 lengths despite failing to change leads in the stretch. Edgar Prado takes over for the injured Rafael Bejarano.

Incriminate, a $1.5 million yearling purchase by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Darley operation, won his debut on Travers Day, dueling with the speedy Most Distinguished for the majority of that race before edging clear late. He ran a solid time of 1:10.78 for six furlongs.

"He's so big, I was never expecting him to show the speed that he showed," said jockey Garrett Gomez, who rides Incriminate for trainer Eoin Harty. "I was actually trying to get him to slow down and sit off horses. I think he got a lot out of that race, and he'll keep moving forward."

Fernando Po switches back to dirt and cuts back to one turn after winning the With Anticipation, a two-turn turf race at Saratoga. Kong's Revenge, Buffalo Man, and Sam P. complete the field.