Alto Racing’s Anchor Down led the five-horse field of Saturday’s G2 Kelso Handicap all the way around the one-mile course, drawing away at the end to win by two lengths at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old son of Tapit, ridden by Javier Castellano, stopped the clock in 1:32.90 for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Anchor Down jumped out of the gates well and was hustled up to the lead by a half-length over Tamarkuz and Ocean Knight through a first quarter in :23.30. Anchor Down had extended that lead to a full length through a half-mile in :45.74, drawing away from Tamarkuz a bit. Ocean Knight maintained third along the rail, while Tommy Macho tracked the paced from fourth position.
Turning for home, Tamarkuz rallied up two-wide to challenge for the lead, and was a neck behind Anchor Down at the top of the lane. Changing leads smoothly, Anchor Down easily pulled away from his rival, crossing the wire well within himself to win by about two lengths. Tamarkuz retained second over Ocean Knight, and Point Piper was fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Anchor Down was a $ 250,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. He finished second behind Frosted in this year’s Met Mile, but was a disappointing sixth in the Vanderbilt on July 30. The Kelso was his first race since then, and the win brings Anchor Down’s overall record to 5-2-2 from 16 starts, with earnings of over $ 700,000.
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