Bruton Street-US’s Snap Decision, confirming the quality of his previous victories, surged to the lead after the final fence on Belmont Park’s backstretch, opened a daylight lead early in the stretch, and came home to a two-length victory in the $75,000 William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes on Wednesday.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Arch My Boy, who had broken on top and then stalked the pace of KMSN Stable’s Sportswear, finished a game second, five lengths clear of Irv Naylor’s Chief Justice in third. Riverdee Stable’s City Dreamer finished fourth in a field of seven.
No stranger to New York and Belmont bettors, Snap Decision went off as the short-priced 0.55-to-1 favorite and paid $3.10 to win after running the Entenmann’s 2¼ miles in 4:17.37 on firm turf.
Bred by Phipps Stable, the five-year-old had two wins on the flat for trainer Shug McGaughey before landing in the stable of champion trainer Jack Fisher. After two second-place finishes in maiden hurdles at the Queen’s Cup and Iroquois Steeplechase in the spring, the Hard Spun gelding won his maiden victory at Monmouth Park by 4½ lengths on July 4.
Back home at Saratoga Race Course, Snap Decision turned heads on Aug. 14 when he drew away to a 38½-length victory in an entry-level allowance hurdle. Novice competition was the next step, and Belmont’s bettors concluded overwhelmingly that he was ready to advance.
As Arch My Boy and then 4.20-to-1 second choice Sportswear set the pace on Belmont’s inner turf course, jockey Willie McCarthy placed Snap Decision toward the back of the field.
Sportswear, previously unbeaten over fences, took the lead entering Belmont’s clubhouse turn, but the four-year-old tired after the last fence to finish fifth.
Snap Decision opened a clear lead entering the stretch, and McCarthy looked back twice to see if anyone was advancing. Arch My Boy, ridden by Kieran Norris, continued his pursuit, and McCarthy asked for a little more from Snap Decision in midstretch.
Chief Justice, who had left himself too much ground to make up when third to City Dreamer in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for novices on May 11, was in third place throughout the Entenmann and was unable to advance on Snap Decision and Arch My Boy in the stretch.