Outside of the Belmont Stakes, the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (G1) is one of the highlight races of the Belmont Park spring-summer meeting. Traditionally run on Memorial Day, it features top older horses going 1 mile on the main track. A short field of 6 contested the 119th renewal of the "Met Mile", before 10,577 fans enjoying clear skies and temperatures in the high 80's. To Honor and Serve was sent off as the 8-5 favorite off his wins in the Cigar Mile (G1) and the Westchester (G3). In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Caleb's Posse, second in his last 2 starts, the Tom Fool (G3) and the Carter (G1), and 3-1 third choice Shackleford, winner of the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) last out.
Jockey John Velazquez sent Shackleford to the lead exiting the chute and he set quick fractions of 22.77, 44.73, and 1:08.52 over the fast track while pressed by To Honor and Serve to his inside. Shackleford opened up a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole, but Caleb's Posse, last for the first 3/4 mile, closed with a rush on the outside. Shackleford held him off in the final strides to get the win by a nose in 1:33.30. It was another 2 lengths back to favorite To Honor and Serve third.
Results Chart - from DRF