The $400,000 Kelso Handicap (G2) is a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), but is also a potential Classic (G1) prep. After three scratched, just 6 went to post in this 1 mile trip around 1 turn of the Belmont main track, with Woodward (G1) winner To Honor and Serve sent off as the 6-1 favorite. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Shackleford, 8th in the Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) after winning the Metropolitan Handicap (G1), and 5-1 third choice Tapizar, winner of the West Virginia Governor's Stakes at Mountaineer.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent Shackleford to the lead exiting the chute and he set fractions of 22.54, 45.02, and 1:09.31 while pressed by 9-1 Trickmeister, with 8-1 Jersey Town stalking the lead pair in third. On the turn, Jersey Town gained on the leaders and came through the gap between them at the 3/16 pole, quickly drawing away to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Shackleford in 1:35.24. It was just 3/4 length back to Trickmeister third, and a long 4 1/2 lengths back to favorite To Honor and Serve fourth.