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In Trouble makes statement in G2 Futurity win

By Phil Janack | 09/29/2013 07:02 PM ET
In Trouble
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Making just his second career start, In Trouble reeled in favored front-runner Corfu with a sixteenth of a mile to run and bounded to a 2 ¼-length victory in the 123rd running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Futurity on Sunday at Belmont Park.

It was the second Futurity win for trainer Tony Dutrow, coming 13 years after Burning Roma's triumph in 2000, when the race was contested at one mile.

"Having done this a long time, I was looking forward to today," said Dutrow. "I was feeling that we have a talented horse, and I'm not surprised at what I saw. I wasn't predicting this, but I'm not surprised. He's pretty good."

Under jockey Joe Rocco, Jr., In Trouble ran six furlongs in 1:09.64 and returned $7 as the 5-2 second choice in the field of five. Favored at 9-5, Corfu was second, a length in front of Big Sugar Soda, who was followed under the line by Financial Mogul and Sound of Freedom. Wired Bryan was scratched.

Owned by Team D Stable, In Trouble was similarly professional in his 5 ½-furlong unveiling last month at Saratoga Race Course, where he rated just off the pace before getting up to win by three-quarters of a length. The second, third and fourth-place finishers in that race all came back to win their next starts.

"I'd say within a week after his [maiden] race, [we pointed for] this race," said Dutrow of In Trouble, who is based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. "It shows you a lot. This was the second race of his life and he was able to relax and give up the lead and finish up against quality horses. I think that's a big statement for him."

Breaking from post position 1, Rocco and In Trouble tracked Corfu along the inside behind a torrid quarter-mile in 22.09 seconds and a half in 44.75. Rocco then steered In Trouble outside Corfu to launch his bid, entering the stretch in a drive with 3 ½ lengths to make up and steadily advancing on the leader down the lane.

"He broke really sharp, and I'd rather be outside dictating when we can move than be inside and be under someone else who can force us," said Rocco. "It worked out when I saw I could get behind [Corfu] and get outside of him, that's when I went outside and did it. So we had options. I didn't pull him back; I just didn't ask him any more. He was very gentle to rate and did it kindly."

Todd Pletcher, who trains both Corfu and Sound of Freedom, was pleased with the way Corfu, winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August at Saratoga, rebounded from his ninth-place finish in his subsequent start, the Grade 1 Hopeful.

"He stumbled a little bit leaving there," said Pletcher. "The ground kind of broke away from him and it took him a minute to get his legs back underneath him, but he finished up pretty well. Second-best. A very solid effort. We were pleased with his try."

As the high weight of 122 pounds, Corfu gave up four pounds to In Trouble.

"The first eighth of a mile, I had to use him to clear the other horse and then I came up a little bit short down the lane," said Corfu's Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. "It was a very good effort, very good."