Honour And Glory, who finished ahead of only one horse and was beaten by 26 lengths in the Kentucky Derby, dropped down to a mile from 1 1/4 miles at Belmont Park on Monday, winning the $400,000 Metropolitan Handicap in stakes-record time.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Honour And Glory outfinished Lite The Fuse and the favored Afternoon Deelites, who wound up in a dead heat for second place. Criollito finished fourth.
Honour And Glory, owned by Michael Tabor and trained by Wayne Lukas, was timed in 1:32 4/5, one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Williamstown in 1993. The record for the Metropolitan had been Conquistador Cielo’s 1:33 clocking in 1982.
Honour And Glory, given a weight allowance because he was a 3-year-old facing older horses, carried 110 pounds, 13 less than the high-weighted Afternoon Deelites and 12 less than Lite The Fuse.
“He let us know what we’ve known all the time--that he’s a fast horse,” said Lukas, who was at Hollywood Park on Monday. “We took our shot in the Derby, because occasionally a fast horse like Spend A Buck or Winning Colors will win the race, but our commitment to this horse after the Derby was to keep him at a mile or less. Our goal is the [six-furlong] Breeders’ Cup Sprint [at Woodbine Oct. 26].”
All five of Honour And Glory’s victories have been at 1 1/16 miles or less. Lukas said the colt will remain in the East, either at Churchill Downs or with his division in New York and New Jersey.