ELMONT, N.Y. -- While trainer Todd Beattie insists Fabulous Strike can rate, it was the gelding's brilliant speed that helped him punch his ticket to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Forced to go to the front in Sunday's Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park after drawing the rail, Fabulous Strike, under Ramon Dominguez, dueled with the speedy Talent Search through a half-mile in 44.51 seconds before drawing away from that colt in the stretch en route to a 5 3/4-length victory. Fabulous Strike covered the six furlongs in 1:09.22 and paid $11.20.
Meanwhile, Discreet Cat, making his first start in six months, finished third, six lengths behind the winner and a nose in front of Mach Ride. E Z Warrior, Park Avenue Ball, First Defence, and Will He Shine completed the order of finish.
Since the $400,000 Vosburgh is part of the Breeders' Cup's "Win and You're In Challenge," Fabulous Strike earned an automatic berth into the $2 million Sprint to be held on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park. The connections of Talent Search said they would consider running back in the BC Sprint.
Fabulous Strike, a 4-year-old son of Smart Strike, was considered among the top sprinters earlier in the year before he finished fifth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in July. Beattie said Fabulous Strike suffered from severe heat exhaustion in that race, accounting for the poor performance.
Beattie was confident he had his horse ready for a big effort Sunday and he delivered.
"I was nervous after the first quarter but when he got around to the quarter pole and I looked at my horse and they were busy on their horse I felt really comfortable we were going to have horse left," Beattie said.
Discreet Cat was making his first start since finishing last in the $6 million Dubai World Cup. He came out of that race with a severe throat infection that kept him out of serious training until August. He was sitting in third behind the dueling leaders in the Vosburgh, but did not punch when jockey Garrett Gomez asked him in the stretch.
"Disappointed with the result but the horse he needed the race," trainer Saeed bin Suroor said. "He'll improve from the race and six furlongs looks like it's a little too short for him. I think we'll take him now to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile."
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be run on Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.
Belmont Park, 7th Race - September 30, 2007