Outside of the Belmont Stakes, the $500,000 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 field of 8 went to post on Monday, before 9,386 fans under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 80's. As expected, Quality Road was sent off as the 1-4 favorite exiting two straight wins at Gulfstream Park in the Hal's Hope (G3) and Donn Handicap (G1). In to challenge him included 8-1 second choice Musket Man, third in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) on Kentucky Derby day after finishing a close second in the Carter (G1) at Aqueduct, and 9-1 third choice Warrior's Reward, who was second in the Churchill Downs Stakes after winning the Carter.
Quality Road went to the front immediately to set quick fractions of 22.55 and 45.19 over the fast track while being stalked 1/2 a length behind by Le Grand Cru down the backstretch. On the far turn, Warrior's Reward moved up to challenge as Le Grand Cru dropped back, but Quality Road continued to lead by a length through 3/4 in 1:08.57. Quality Road opened up a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole, as Musket Man came through between horses to challenge. However, Quality Road easily held him off late by 1 1/2 lengths at the line, completing mile trip in 1:33.11. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back from Musket Man to Tizway third.
Results Chart - from DRF