Those who believed Sun King and High Fly were the two best 3-year-olds in trainer Nick Zito's barn may have a different opinion today.
Bellamy Road, a son of Concerto owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, may have become the favorite for the Kentucky Derby with his second consecutive overpowering victory.
A 15 3/4 -length winner against allowance foes in his first start for Zito on March 12 at Gulfstream Park, Bellamy Road was even more dominant Saturday, winning the $500,000 Wood Memorial by 17 1/2 lengths. In the process, he equaled the track record for 1 1/8 miles set by Riva Ridge in the Stuyvesant Handicap on Oct. 15, 1973.
In front throughout under Javier Castellano over an extremely fast main track at Aqueduct, the Florida-bred completed the distance in 1:47.16.
Originally trained by Michael Dickinson, Bellamy Road, the 5-2 favorite in the Grade I, has won four of five.
"I don't know one parent who chooses any child over another," said Zito when asked about his five talented 3-year-olds; he also has Andromeda's Hero and Noble Causeway. "I'm just glad this one is in the family."
This was the third Wood win for Zito -- he also scored with Thirty Sex Red in 1990 and Adonis nine years later -- and Bellamy Road's companion was certainly impressed.
"He wants to go longer, no question about it," Castellano said.
"The more distance the better. He's an impressive horse. He's really unbelievable."
Survivalist, who had won the Gotham in his Aqueduct debut March 19, finished second at 5-1.
Going Wild, who had won the San Miguel, Sham and Santa Catalina in succession earlier in the year at Santa Anita, finished last as the 5-2 second choice, beaten by 41 lengths.
After being outrun early, Forest Danger, the 4-5 favorite, took charge in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $350,000 Carter Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct.
Sis City, who was claimed for $50,000 out of a maiden win last summer at Saratoga, became a Grade I winner, winning the $500,000 Ashland at Keeneland by 10 1/2 lengths.
Owned by a partnership that includes Bob and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, Sanford Goldfarb and New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre and trained by Rick Dutrow Jr., the 3-year-old Slew City Slew filly tracked the pace set by longshot Amazing Buy early, took charge before six furlongs had been run and went on to her fifth win in nine starts. Edgar Prado was aboard Saturday and Sis City, who has won four of six since the claim, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.35.
Singletary, the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile winner who finished seventh of nine in his comeback race in the Kilroe Mile on March 5, rebounded to win the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and trained by Don Chatlos Jr., the 5-year-old Sultry Song horse won for the fourth time in nine starts on the Santa Anita turf course. In beating Sweet Return by one length, he ran the mile in 1:33.52.
California shipper Greeley's Galaxy made a successful stakes debut, winning the $500,000 Illinois Derby by 9 1/2 lengths Saturday at Hawthorne.
It was the third victory in a row for the Mr. Greeley colt, who is owned by B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Warren and Glen Stute. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, he ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.62 and paid $5.60 as the 9-5 favorite in the field of eight.
Dream Of Summer, the 3-1 second choice, went wire to wire and won the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
Patrick Valenzuela rode the 6-year-old Siberian Summer mare for owner-breeder Jim Weigel and trainer Juan Garcia in the Grade I and she ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.86. Star Parade was second and Shadow Cast third. Ashado, the 1-2 favorite who was making her first start since winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park, was fifth.
Two races before the Apple Blossom, Grand Reward, who had finished fourth at 54-1 in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, won the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap, beating Second Of June, favored Eddington and two others.