Criminal Type Wins as Easy Goer Is a Bust : Belmont: Lukas horse catches Housebuster to take Metropolitan Mile, capping weekend hat trick for trainer.
Trainer Shug McGaughey might remember the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park Monday as the day Easy Goer was booed at his home track. Wayne Lukas will remember the race with a smile.
Southland-based Criminal Type, trained by Lukas, caught Housebuster near the finish and won the Metropolitan by a neck while Easy Goer, the 2-5 favorite, finished third, drawing boos from the crowd of 32,139.
Lukas also won the Acorn for 3-year-old fillies with Stella Madrid Saturday and the Peter Pan for 3-year-old colts with Profit Key Sunday, also at Belmont.
“The horse had been doing so well since the Pimlico Special it was just scary,” said assistant trainer Jeff Lukas, who saddled Criminal Type in his father’s absence.
The victory was Criminal Type’s second in a row and gave him almost $1 million for those two starts. On May 12, the 5-year-old horse won the $1 million Pimlico Special at 1 3/16 miles.
“My horse ran his eyeballs out,” jockey Craig Perret said of 3-year-old Housebuster, who won all eight of his previous career starts.
“He ran hard and he just got beat in the last jump. He proved that he’s not just a good 3-year-old--he can run with these horses.”
Easy Goer was in good position at the top of the lane, but “just got outrun,” McGaughey said. “He got flat outrun or he (jockey Pat Day) had a hard time getting him going.”
While Lukas said there are no immediate plans for Criminal Type, McGaughey said Easy Goer will start next in the 1 1/4-mile Suburban Handicap at Belmont, then race against 1989 rival Sunday Silence in the Arlington Challenge Aug. 4 at Arlington Park.
The 4-year-old Easy Goer, who carried 127 pounds, seven more than Criminal Type and 14 more than Housebuster, had won six consecutive races at Belmont dating to a second-place finish in the first start of his career, Aug. 1, 1988.
“He’s going to be one of the best handicap horses of the year,” jockey Jose Santos said of Criminal Type, who has five victories in eight starts this year and covered the mile in 1:34 2/5. “He ran very well. He really ran his race.”
Criminal Type, carrying the red and blue silks of Calumet Farm and coupled as a Lukas-trained entry with Dancing Pretense, paid $18.80, $5.80 and $2.10. He earned $357,000 from a purse of $597,000.
Housebuster returned $5.20 and $2.10; Easy Goer paid $2.10.
Black Tie Affair broke to the lead, but Housebuster quickly took command and led Criminal Type and Black Tie Affair through the first half mile. At the half-mile pole, Easy Goer was fifth.
When the field reached the quarter pole, Housebuster had a 1 1/2-length lead over Criminal Type, who was 1 1/2 lengths in front of fading Black Tie Affair. Easy Goer was fourth at that point.
Easy Goer had a clear run down the middle of the track in the stretch run but was unable to move into serious contention.
Completing the order of finish were Traskwood, Sewickly, Black Tie Affair, Dancing Pretense, Pause Again and Idabel.
Easy Goer’s stablemate, Dancing Spree, scratched.