ELMONT, N.Y. — It wasn't a Triple Crown race like Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but it easily was the race of the weekend at Belmont Park.
Calidoscopio made up 22 lengths in the final half-mile, rallying in the slop to win the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap on Friday at Belmont Park.
The distant trailer in the early stages, Calidoscopio kicked past pace-setting Percussion for a one-length victory, his first since the Breeders' Cup Marathon in November at Santa Anita. Aaron Gryder was aboard for trainer Mike Puype as the 10-year-old from Argentina raced to his 11th win in 42 starts. Calidoscopio is the first 10-year-old in history to win a graded stakes race on dirt.
"That's the way I rode him in the Breeders' Cup, and it works, so I have a lot of confidence in him making up that kind of ground," Gryder said. "He gallops pretty much for the first mile, mile and an eighth, and then from that point on, we pick it up and he just continues to grow in his stride.
"I felt good at the three-eighths pole. … At the eighth pole, I said, 'I think I can get there,' and at the 16th pole, I said, 'I'm going to run them down.'
"He's such a character. He's been racing for eight years, and he's seen it all. … He absolutely just exploded when it was time to do his thing."
The time for the 11/2 miles, the same distance as the Belmont Stakes, was 2 minutes, 31.64 seconds.