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Favored Charge It Rolls to Easy Victory in Suburban

The toteboard said it would be easy for Charge It  and it surely was.

Not as easy as his 23-length score in last year’s Dwyer Stakes (G3), but easy nonetheless.

Sent off as a prohibitive 3-5 favorite, the homebred son of Tapit   controlled the pace and with little urging rolled to a 4 3/4-length victory over four overmatched rivals in the $339,500 Suburban Stakes (G2) July 8 at Belmont Park.

“You never take anything for granted. Like (Trainer Bob) Baffert always says sometimes when you are supposed to win they are the hardest to win,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “So we’re happy with his performance. It was a good win for him. It proved he can stay the mile and a quarter and the spacing is pretty good if we want to consider the Whitney (G1), which obviously is going to be a more difficult assignment. But he’s always been a horse that has impressed as a top class horse and maybe he has started to put it all together.”

The victory returned the Whisper Hill Farm colt to a tantalizing position he has occupied before, such as when he was second in the 2022 Florida Derby (G1) in his third start or after his aforementioned romp in the Dwyer. Yet after those highly promising efforts, he was derailed by a displaced palate in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and a foot problem that prematurely ended his 3-year-old season after the Dwyer.

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Slow to find his best form at 4, he entered the 1 1/4-mile Suburban off three straight losses, including a fourth most recently in the mile Metropolitan Handicap (G1). But after cruising to his second graded stakes win in 10 career starts, he’s back in conversations about grade 1 affairs, specifically the $1 million Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 5.

“I told Todd last year that I love everything about this horse,” winning jockey John Velazquez said. “Obviously things went the wrong way and it’s taken a little bit of time to get him back this year but obviously he’s done it. He’s a very talented horse and if he can put things together and come forward, he’ll be a tough horse.”

Red Run  led for the opening quarter-mile in the Suburban but Charge It grabbed the lead through a half-mile in :48.12 and never gave anyone a chance after that.

Ahead by 3 1/2 lengths after a mile in a quick 1:36.15, Velazquez took a peak behind him at the three sixteenths pole and when he saw no one gaining, he hand rode the son of the Indian Charlie mare I’ll Take Charge under the wire in 2:01.31.

The win gave Pletcher back-to back Suburban victories and three since 2017.

Arindel’s Clapton , a son of Brethren  , was second, four lengths clear of Edward Potash, Brad Yankanich, and trainer Jim Ryerson’s Unbridled Bomber  (Upstart  ).

Charge It is the second of four foals and first stakes winner from I’ll Take Charge, who also has a yearling Into Mischief   colt and 2023 full sister to the winner.

Video: Suburban S. (G2)

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