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The TDN Topic is a new feature for the TDN, designed to examine a topic in racing from several different angles, and then seek comment from our readers. In each TDN Topic, we ask people with different perspectives—from both inside and outside the sport—to comment on a hot-button issue. Today, we start with whipping.

Top News in Sunday's TDN
Flat Out Continues Love Affair with Belmont Park
Click here to open this alert in a new page
8th at BELGII Suburban H. ($350k)  [1 1/8m]Winner: Flat Out, h, 7 by Flatter
Saturday, Belmont Park
SUBURBAN H.-GII, $343,000, BEL, 7-6, 3yo/up,
1 1/8m, 1:46 4/5, ft.
1--FLAT OUT, 119, h, 7, by Flatter
     1st Dam: Cresta Lil (MSW), by Cresta Rider
     2nd Dam: Rugosa, by Double Jay
     3rd Dam: Rose, by Sailor
($11,000 wlng '06 OBSOCT; $85,000 yrl '07
FTKJUL). O-Preston Stables LLC; B-Nikolaus Bock
(FL); T-William I Mott; J-Junior Alvarado. $210,000.
Lifetime Record: MGISW, 25-8-4-4, $2,945,383.
*1/2 to Our Best Man (Runaway Groom), MSW,
$328,565. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.

2--Last Gunfighter, 118, c, 4, First Samurai--Saratoga
Cat, by Sir Cat. O/B-John D Gunther (KY); T-Chad C
Brown. $70,000.
3--Fast Falcon, 116, c, 4, Awesome Again--My
Chickadee, by Pleasant Tap. ($60,000 yrl '10
KEESEP). O-Richard C Pell; B-B P Walden Jr & H G
King III (KY); T-Nicholas P Zito. $35,000.
Margins: 2HF, NO, 4 3/4. Odds: 1.00, 1.40, 24.25.
Also Ran: Alpha, Percussion.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO.
   A good battle was waged on the Belmont tote between Flat Out--winner of the last two runnings of the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and four of five overall at Big Sandy--and the progressive Last Gunfighter, perfect in six starts since being transferred to the barn of Chad Brown. As it turned out, the only war that was waged was in the market, as Flat Out turned in another masterful performance, despite being taken out of his element. Third to Fort Larned (E Dubai) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic last November, the handsome 7-year-old took some time to get his feet under him this term, finishing fourth behind Graydar (Unbridled’s Song) when favored in the GI Donn H. Feb. 9 and fifth to that rival in the GII New Orleans H. Mar. 30. The come-from-behinder was ridden much closer to the pace in the GIII Westchester S. going this track’s one-turn mile Apr. 27 and was up in the final jump to nail the luckless Cross Traffic (Unbridled’s Song), but it was back to one-run tactics in the GI Met Mile May 27, and his last-out third to Sahara Sky (Pleasant Tap) was full of merit. Despite a slight bobble at the break, Percussion (Bluegrass Cat) pushed through to lead them out of the chute, and it was Flat Out who was closest to that one. Alpha (Bernardini), fractious in the gate, raced just in advance of Last Gunfighter, while Fast Falcon brought up the rear early on. The second favorite was the first to be asked a serious question, and they advanced to be within a length of the joint leaders, but Junior Alvarado took a peek behind him and sent Flat Out to the lead three furlongs from the wire. Shaken up in upper stretch, the Preston runner pinched a winning break and went his final furlong in a smart :11.96 to win handily. “This obviously was an easier race than the last two,” said Hall of Famer Bill Mott. “He ran hard today, but he ran real hard to win [the Westchester] and then he got jostled around a little bit in the Met Mile, which may have cost him something. It’s nice to see him bounce back. I figured when he went by that horse on the lead, he was going to be tough to beat from there.” The winner is likely to make his next appearance in the GI Whitney H. Aug. 3, a race in which he was third last year to Fort Larned, also a candidate for the race.

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