Lure Him In will attempt his second stakes victory of the year Friday as the Florida-bred veteran stretches out to a mile-and-three-eighths in the Grade 2 Brooklyn during the Belmont at Big A meet. A winner of the mile-and-one-sixteenth Sunshine Classic against Florida-breds at Gulfstream on Jan. 20, Lure Him In will face six other 4-year-olds and older chasing a $200,000 purse.

Lure Him In has raced at a mile-and-three-eighths or farther six times, all on the turf. His best finish at the distance came in November of 2021 when third in a second condition, $80,000 optional claiming at Del Mar.

The 7-year-old gelded son of Journeyman Stud’s leading Florida sire Khozan will make a big jump in distance from his last race when fourth in the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile won by Heroic Move on the main track at Lone Star Park on May 27. In his first start for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. two starts back, Lure Him In was fourth in the Grade 3 Ghostzapper won by Il Miracolo going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Gulfstream on March 30.

Lure Him In is out of Alluring Lady, by Indygoshiner and was bred by Stonehedge LLC. He has won eight with nine seconds and seven thirds in 44 career races while banking $516,973. He is owned by C Two Racing Stable, Double B Racing Stables, Mach One Stables, Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch.

Flavien Prat will ride Lure Him In from post one.  

Lure Him In tries to become the first Florida-bred winner of the Brooklyn since Birdrun in 2011 when it was the Brooklyn Handicap. Other Florida-bred winners of the Brooklyn Handicap include Wekiva Springs (1996), You and I (1995) and Forever Silver (1989).

Among the likely favorites is Next, a winner of seven of his last nine including the 2023 Brooklyn going a mile-and-a-half at Belmont Park. 

Trained by William Cowans for Michael Foster, Next has one start this year, an 11 ¼-length victory in the $200,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon going a mile-and-a-half at Churchill Downs on May 1, defeating Brooklyn contenders Dai Vernon and Masqueparade. He finished last year with a 25-length triumph in the Grade 3 Greenwood over a sloppy mile-and-a-half in September at Parx and an 11 ¾-length win in the $150,000 Birdstone going a mile-and-three-quarters at Saratoga in July.

Next is by Not This Time out of Bahia Beach, by Awesome Again and has won half of his 20 career starts with one third while earning $1,035,861.

Luan Machado has the call on Next from post six.

Crupi is another strong contender having won the Grade 2 Suburban going 10 furlongs at Saratoga on June 8 in his last race.

Third in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup won by National Treasure on Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park, Crupi then traveled to the United Arab Emirates for the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan on March 30 and finished 10th behind winner Laurel River.

Crupi has five wins, two seconds and four thirds in 15 lifetime starts with earnings of $851,750.

He is trained by Todd Pletcher for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC and will be ridden from post three by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Rounding out the field are Dai Vernon with John Velazquez named to ride, Masqueparade with jockey Kendrick Carouche, Drake’s Passage and rider Manny Franco and Charle Oliveros has the mount on Spencer’s Boy Luna.

Return to the July 3 issue of Wire to Wire