ELMONT, N.Y., June 8 (UPI) -- Beat Hollow showed he has become one of the best turf horses in North America with a virtual gate-to-wire victory in Saturday's $400,000 Manhattan at Belmont Park.
Beat Hollow, a lightly raced son of Sadler's Wells, took the most direct way to victory over seven rivals with multiple international credentials.
Under a well-timed ride by Alex Solis, Beat Hollow cruised through a half mile in 45.57 seconds and a mile in 1:37.17. When the challengers put in their bid, the British-bred horse had plenty left in the tank.
Under the wire, he was two lengths in front of Forbidden Apple, who last raced in December in Hong Kong. Strut The Stage, based in Canada, was third. With Anticipation, who finished ninth in the Japan Cup in Tokyo last November, was fourth in the Manhattan.
"He's a very good turf horse," said winning trainer Bobby Frankel. "I don't want to get ahead of myself by thinking about what's next."
Beat Hollow, owned Juddmonte Farms, was making just his eighth lifetime start and posted his sixth win. He has never finished off the board and was third in the Epsom Derby at Ascot in England two years ago. He did not race as a 4-year-old and resumed his career in January, winning an optional claiming race at Santa Anita.
He then was second in the Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and, in his last previous start, won the Woodford Reserve on Derby Day at Churchill Downs.
In other races on Saturday's Belmont Stakes undercard:
Explicit dueled Yonaguska into submission through the early furlongs of the $250,000 True North Breeders' Cup Handicap, then held off Entrepreneur in the late going to win by 1 length. Late Carson was third and Yonaguska faded to finish fourth.
Explicit, a 5-year-old son of Distant View, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.98. Explicit now has won three of seven starts this year, including the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint in his last previous outing. Trainer Ian Jory said the horse will get a short break an come back in the $250,000 Forego at Saratoga on Sept 1, "with the Breeders' Cup Sprint as the main goal." Lonnie Meche had the mount.
Babae raced in second, well behind the early leader in the $200,000 Just A Game Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares, took the lead as the field turned for home and then just held on to beat Tates Creek by a neck. Stylish was third and the morning-line favorite, Voodoo Dancer, was a late scratch.
Babae, a 6-year-old bred in Chile, covered the mile on "good" turf in 1:34.57 under Jorge Chavez.
Gygistar ran right by pace-setting favorite Yankee Gentleman at the top of the stretch in the $200,000 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds and went on to win easily by 4 1/2 lengths. Draw Play came up the rail to take second and True Direction edged the fading Yankee Gentleman for third. Pat Day rode Gygistar, a Kentucky-bred son of Ogygian, over 7 furlongs took 1:22.61.
Too Scarlet overcame an awkward start and avoided an ugly spill in front of her to win the $65,000 WNBC Stakes for fillies and mares. The Colonial Affair 4-year-old opened up a daylight lead in the stretch and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Ellie's Moment. Belle Artiste was. Imadeed broke down at the top of the stretch and Pleasant Colony fell over her. Several other runners took evasive action behind the mishap.