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King David reigns over G1 Jamaica H. field

Saturday, October 06, 2012 | Hat Trick
Hat Trick got his first Grade 1 winner in 2012 Saturday at Belmont Park when King David annexed the $400,000 Jamaica H. (G1) by a half-length. Hat Trick is solidly in the top 15 on the Second Crop Sire list with $1,249,305 in progeny earnings. The Gainesway stallion has six stakes horses this year, including two-time black type victor Howe Great.

Making his first start in a stakes race, King David sat a few lengths off slow early fractions of 25.89, 52.29 and 1:18.15 set by another longshot, 23-1 King Kreesa. As Summer Front came up the rail to challenge the pacesetter in mid-stretch, King David launched his bid on the outside and grabbed the lead with less than 100 yards to go for a half-length victory over King Kreesa.

Trained by Mike Maker, King David completed the nine furlong Jamaica in 1:52.91 over an inner turf course rated “good.”

“I assumed I probably would get a stalking trip, and we sat in a great spot,” said winning jockey Rosie Napravnik. “I was able to save ground on the first turn. The turf is a little bit soft, so I took him to the outside. He just put in a very game effort.”

The victory was the sixth in seven starts this year for King David, a dark bay colt who did not break his maiden until May 25 in a $25,000 claiming race at Arlington Park. Last month, trainer Mike Maker haltered King David for $35,000 out of a victory at Belmont on behalf of Scarlet Stable.

“Mike saw this horse at Saratoga, and lost a shake (to claim him) there, so he claimed him at Belmont,” said Maker’s assistant, Pearl Hagadorn. “He looks for an athlete that he thinks can improve with his program, and he’s brilliant at it.”