[PHOTO: Western Racepix]
Progressive three-year-old Probity got his spring campaign off to a flyer at Belmont on Saturday when winning the Free Entry To Belmont Park Handicap (1200m) at his first run back.
The son of Demerit flashed above-average ability when recording successive placings at his two starts as a two-year-old in May and scored his first career win off the back of an encouraging runner-up finish in a Lark Hill trial on September 9.
As much as $7.50 was bet about Probity in pre-post markets before he was supported into $4.40 third-favouritism before the jump and settled one-out and two-back for jockey Joseph Azzopardi.
The gelding let down with a sharp turn-of-foot in the straight and, despite race-favourite Buzzoom ($2.60) launching at him late, he was able to find over the concluding stages and hold her off by a nose through the line.
War Gem ($3.50) finished a further three-quarter-length away in third place.
Probity has now accumulated $59,050 in stake earnings and bonuses from his three race starts to date.
Meanwhile, next Saturday will see the return of fellow Pearce-trained galloper Vital Silver in the $125,000 Listed Black Heart Bart Stakes (1200m).
It will be the two-time Group 1 runner-up’s first race start in more than eight months after undergoing throat surgery earlier this year.
CLICK HERE to watch the replay and post-race interviews following Probity’s Belmont win.