Anchor Down wires Kelso in 1:32.90
If Anchor Down has a sweet spot, it's the one-turn mile at Belmont Park. On Saturday, the gray son of Tapit wired four rivals in the $343,000 Kelso H. (G2) in a sharp 1:32.90 over a fast track under Javier Castellano
Winner of the Westchester (G3) in May by nearly seven lengths and second best to Frosted in the Metropolitan H. (G1) in his two most recent journeys over the track and distance, Anchor Down was tracked all the way by Tamarkuz and had plenty left to withstand a stretch challenge from that rival after setting fractions of of :23.30, :45.74 and 1:09.05. The final margin of victory was two lengths.
“He's run well every time in a one-turn mile at Belmont, it seems to be his thing,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It was no disgrace being second to Frosted in the Met Mile that day – I don't think anyone was going to beat Frosted. To come back and run a mile in 1:32 and 4/5, as a well-bred son of Tapit, it's a big win for him.”
Owned by Alto Racing, Anchor Down paid $6.
Tamarkuz, seeking his first victory since the 2015 Godolphin Mile (G2) on World Cup night in Meydan, placed for the first time in four tries at Belmont, but could not improve on his recent position in the Forego (G1) at Saratoga. Finishing third under a ground-saving ride was Tamarkuz's stablemate in the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, Ocean Knight. Point Piper and Tommy Macho completed the order of finish after Upstart and Baccelo were scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Anchor Down was produced by Grade 3 winner Successful Outlook, making him a half-brother to Grade 1 vixen Sweet Lulu. His record now stands at 16-5-2-2, $719,254.
“We'll wait and see how he comes out of it,” Pletcher said. “I would probably think a one-turn mile is a little more to his liking [than the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita going two turns]. We'll enjoy this one for the moment, but if I were guessing right now I'd probably lean toward the Cigar Mile [(G1) at Aqueduct on November 26].”
(Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)