ELMONT, N.Y. — Rosbrian Farm and Meadow Run Farm's Zanjabeel stayed off the speed and gained command in the flat portion of the race, fending off Hinterland's late challenge to win the 10th running of the Grade 1, $175,000 Lonesome Glory on Sept. 19 at Belmont Park in the fall meet's steeplechase centerpiece.
Zanjabeel, ridden by Jack W. Kennedy, stayed off Clarcam's early speed as he led the eight-horse field through all 10 fences. Kennedy kept the English-bred near the pace, staying a close fourth heading into the final jump, before overtaking stablemate Optimus Prime out of the far turn and Clarcam at the top of the stretch before kicking away to a 1 ¾-length win, completing 2 ½ miles in 4:50.24 on the inner turf course listed as yielding.
The Richard Hendriks trainee won his second straight Grade 1, adding to his five-length win in the Iroquois on May 12 at Percy Warner.
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"We were tickled to death with Zanjabeel coming off a layoff," Hendriks said. "You just never know how horses are going to run coming off a layoff. We've only had him for about a year, so we don't know him as well as some of the other horses, but he ran a super race.
"I was a little concerned with the ground coming in," he added. "You just never know which horses are going to take to the soft going, but usually with the European breeding, they usually like that softer turf. He's a funny horse, you just never know which horse is going to show up that day. Sometimes, he drops a little farther back out of it and comes along and kinds of runs up and back into it. He's a thinker."
Off as the 8-5 favorite, Zanjabeel paid $5.40 on a $2 win wager. The 5-year-old Aussie Rules gelding won his Belmont debut and has four wins and a pair of runner-up finishes in his six starts since arriving from Europe in the fall of 2017.
"I jumped off in third and ended up in fourth, but I had a lovely position. He jumped great and traveled very well," Kennedy said. "He kicked on well off a steady pace. He did everything very well. He seems to have improved since the last time I rode him a year ago at Far Hills. I couldn't believe it when I went out for the parade at how strong he's getting. He's certainly improving."
Hinterland, the longest shot on the board at 33-1, edged Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup-winner Optimus Prime by a neck for second.
"Optimus Prime ran a very good race," Hendriks said. "He ran his race. He picked up a lot of weight coming off his win at Saratoga, which when you're getting that close towards the finish, that probably cost him a little bit."
Three Kingdoms, Schoodic, Clarcam and Personal Start completed the order of finish. Show Court fell over the eighth jump and lost rider Michael Mitchell. Both the horse and jockey were unharmed.
In the opener, 3-1 favorite Boss Man outkicked Ice It by a half-length to capture the seventh running of the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial in the meet's first steeplechase race. The Archibald Kingsley, Jr. trainee won over 2 ¼ miles on the inner turf in a final time of 4:12.34, marking his third victory in four starts.
Boss Man, ridden by Mitchell, returned $8.10 in his first win at Belmont since 2015.
Detroit Blues, No Wunder, City Dreamer, Gibralfaro and Indian Hawk completed the order of finish.
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