Gray Matter Travels Fast Nine Furlongs in Belmont Feature: Timed Distance in 1:48 1/5 In Defeating Steel Blue By Margin of Two Lengths, Daily Racing Form, 1951-06-20


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► — — — JOCKEY JOHNNY ADAMS — Piloted I Mommy, Eye Catcher, Floating Clown and Frank Munns to victory on yesterdays Arlington Park program. : * . : Gray Matter Travels Fast Nine Furlongs in Belmont Feature Timed Distance in 7 :48Vs * In Defeating Steel Blue By Margin of Two Lengths BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., June 19. — Al-Jo Stables Gray Matter, who was claimed from Hal Price Headley for 2,500 a week ago, captured the featured Great Neck Handicap here today, stepping the mile and a furlong in-1:48 M , just two-fifths off the r.ecord Counterpoint established in the Peter Pan Handicap on June 9 and equaling the former mark set by Marriage back in 1942. Harry LaMon-tagnes Steel Blue, the co-favorite with the winner in an open betting race, finished two lengths back of the winner, while Mrs. Frank Frankels Free Strider was six and a half lengths farther back, after trailing to the top of the" home lane. Gustave Rings pacemaking Quick Fire was four lengths out of the money. Gray Matter was ridden by Ted Atkinson at a feathery 108 pounds and the three-year-old son of Menow— Selenga paid .90. He was beaten a nose as an odds-pn choice by Irritate in his last start, the race from which he was haltered by trainer D. J. Falcone and won a sprint before that. Gray Matters best previous race was a victory in a division of * the Everglades Handicap at Hialeah, in which he beat Timely .Reward and Royal Mustang. Crowd of 17,074 Out A crowd of 17,074 turned out in pleasant weather. The bridge jumpers among them caused" a minus show pool of 26.91, most of the wagering in the race concentrating pn Gray Matter, Steel Blue and the entry of Free Strider and Alphabetical, who got all the money. Eric Guerin sent Quick Fire to the front at the start of the Great Neck, quickly opening a daylight lead over Steel Blue, Alphabetical, Schrpon and Gray Matter, who were lapped on each other in that order. Gray Matter was on the outside, several lengths before Free Strider as they went down the far side. Quick Fire continued to lead around the wide curve but began to tire at the three-eighths pole midway of the bend and Steel Blue began to close on him, while Alphabetical was close by on the rail and Gray Matter was moving up on the, extreme outside. Schroon dropped back and Free Strider began to close ground well out from the rail. . Steel Blue took command above the head of the stretch as Quick Fire called it an afternoon, but Gray Matter was right with him and took the lead as they straightened away for the long run home. Gray Matter opened a lead of some two lengths in a few strides but began to tire from the swift pace, which saw the three-quarters run in 1:11%, the mile in 1:35% and Ted Atkinson had to rouse him going into the final furlong. Though obviously beaten, Steel Blue fought on gamely and Atkinson was forced to keep scuffling on Gray Matter to the finish as the roan gelding showed signs of wanting to "lay the body down." A. Levinsons All Is Well drove to a pop* ular victory in the six-furlong Buskin Purse that preceded the feature, reaching the wire a neck before Woodyale Farms Boot All. Brookmeade Stables Two Rainbows, making her first start since finishing third in last years Marguerite Stakes at Pimlico, finished three lengths away in third place after setting the pace to the upper stretch. Havahome "Stables Blinker Light was another two lengths out of the money after appearing to grab himself in the early stages. Sidney Cole, who had won the opener on Repudiate, completed a double on All Is Well, who paid .70 and was teletimed in 1:10%.

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