Gainesway has every reason to be doubly proud of Anchor Down’s gate-to-wire victory in the $350,000 Kelso Handicap (G2) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park. Gainesway not only stands the winner’s sire, Tapit, but also bred the 5-year-old gray.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Alto Racing, Anchor Down crossed the wire two lengths to the good of Tamarkuz, running the one-turn mile under Javier Castellano in a quick 1:32.90, only a few fractions off the track record set by Najran in 2003. Ocean Knight finished third, another 4½ lengths back.
Anchor Down is quite familiar with the mile at Belmont, having won the Westchester Stakes (G3) there in May and finishing second to Frosted, another son of Tapit, in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) in June.
Gainesway Thoroughbreds bred Anchor Down out of Successful Outlook, an Orientate mare who in 2006 won the one-mile Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in the Gainesway Stable colors. As a broodmare, she has produced Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu, by the late Gainesway stallion Mr. Greeley, and Grade 1-placed Iron Fist, a full brother to Anchor Down. A $1.55 million Keeneland September yearling purchase, Iron Fist was runner-up in the Oct. 1 Ack Ack Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs.
The older and better Anchor Down has earned $581,454 in seven 2016 starts, bringing his career bankroll to $719,254. Pletcher said Anchor Down is likely for the Nov. 26 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct.