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Belisarius gives Daltons winner in East Boston

Posted: July 9, 2018 3:16 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Lindsay Jennings/C-I

BELISARIUS AND BERNIE DALTON ran in the $30,000 Dale K. Thiel maiden hurdle at this past spring’s Carolina Cup meet.

Under modest pressure from Camden’s Bernie Dalton, Belisarius galloped home to victory in the second and fastest division of two allowance flat races for hurdlers at Boston’s Suffolk Downs on Sunday. The first division was won by Thomas A. Hulfish’s Swellelegent, who scored by 1 1/2 lengths under Graham Watters.

Belisarius, owned by Gary Barber, Brous Stable, and Wachtel Stable, is still a maiden over fences, but he was competitive in the claiming ranks at Golden Gate Fields late last year. Transferred to Kate Dalton’s barn in Camden over the winter, he went off at 6.85-to-1 in a competitive field for the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

The seven-year-old Irish-bred clocked Gregory Hawkins’ Canaveral for more than a mile before taking command and easily drawing clear. Whitman’s Poetry, owned by DASH Stable, closed ground in deep stretch under Willie McCarthy to draw within a length at the finish line. Ballybristol Farm’s Alshibaa finished third, and Gillian Johnston’s Mutasaawy was fourth.

A close second in an Iroquois Steeplechase maiden hurdle in his previous start, Belisarius ran the 1 1/2-mile distance in 2:36 on firm turf.

Swellelegent, trained by Neil Morris, won over hurdles last fall but was pulled up in his previous start at Tryon Block House in mid-April. Suffolk’s bettors sent him off as a modest longshot at 8.60-to-1. Always well placed in a field of 11, Swellelegent wore down Buttonwood Farm’s front-running Junonia inside the furlong pole and drew clear late.

Show Court, the 2017 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes and 2017 Carolina Cup victor for Camden trainer Arch Kingsley Jr., finished third with Michael Mitchell up, and Woodslane Farm’s Overwhelming finished fourth. Swellelegent ran the distance in 2:39.56.

The Suffolk stop kicked off the National Steeplechase Association summer campaign. The jumpers will head to Saratoga for six races at the Spa beginning with the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on Wednesday, July 25 with the $175,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial to be contested the following afternoon.

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