ELMONT, N.Y. -- His journey has led from Chicago to New York, Philadelphia to Oklahoma, back to Chicago, over to Dubai, and then back to New York. Another 1 1/2 miles later, the well-traveled Acomo had earned his first graded stakes win since leaving his native Brazil. He outnodded pacesetter Gabriel's Hill at the end of the Grade 2, $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap for older horses on steamy Friday afternoon at Belmont Park.
Acomo ($21.40), under Cornelio Velasquez, wore down Gabriel's Hill after a thrilling stretch drive that also included the race's defending champion, Eldaafer, who fought on bravely between horses until deep stretch. Acomo won by a nose, with Eldaafer another two lengths back in third.
Acomo completed 1 1/2 miles on the fast main track in 2:30.07. The key portion of the race was consecutive quarter-miles between the six-furlong mark the 1 1/4-mile mark, both run in 24 seconds and change, which proved just enough to take the take some of the starch out of Gabriel's Hill and allow Acomo to rally for the win.
"I was in the clear at the quarter pole, and I had a lot of horse," Velasquez said. "I thought I had the race easy, but [Gabriel's Hill], he ran a good race."
Eduardo Caramori trains Acomo, 7, who was a Group stakes winner in Brazil before coming to the United States at the beginning of 2009. He was fifth in last year's Brooklyn, then scored the biggest victory of his peripatetic United States campaign in the Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park.
Acomo made three starts earlier this year in Dubai on synthetic surfaces, but was not competitive. The Brooklyn, back on dirt, marked his first race in more than 3 1/2 months.