Saturday, October 15 2016
Theory in practice with G3 Futurity victory
ELMONT, N.Y. - WinStar Farm and China Horse Club's Theory proved he was back in full force Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, posting a 3 ½-length victory in the 126th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Futurity for 2-year-olds at six furlongs.
Settling in second early under Javier Castellano, Theory tracked an early pace set by Moves Like Ali, who led the field of five through an opening quarter-mile in 22.62 seconds and the half in 45.35. The Todd Pletcher-trained Theory drew alongside the leader in the middle of the turn and shook clear at the eighth pole to secure his first stakes victory.
Thursday, October 13 2016
Cherry Lodge looks to move forward in G3 Matron
ELMONT, N.Y. - Gainesway Stables' Cherry Lodge will headline a field of five in the 110th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Matron for juvenile fillies at six furlongs on Sunday at Belmont Park.
A $450,000 yearling purchase in the 2015 Keeneland September sales, the daughter of Bernardini made her debut on August 7 at Saratoga in which she bested nine rivals and picked up a field-high 89 Beyer Speed Figure. As the odds-on favorite in the Grade 1 Spinaway on September 3, she encountered trouble at the break and raced to finish 5 ¾ lengths back in third.
Saturday, October 08 2016
Belmont Park’s G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup is the land of Hoppertunity
ELMONT, N.Y. - Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is insanity, so instead of having Hoppertunity chase the mighty California Chrome yet again, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert gave the hard-knocking veteran a change of scenery, and he responded with a determined effort to beat favored Effinex in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup.
In winning the Gold Cup - the zenith of a seven-stakes program on Super Saturday at the fall meet, Hoppertunity earned $600,000 for an ownership group headed by Mike Pegram, as well as an all-fees-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He joined River Keen (1999) as Baffert's second Gold Cup winner. Hoppertunity is now 6-6-4 from 22 starts, with earnings of over $3.5 million.
Practical Joke picks off Syndergaard to win G1 Champagne
ELMONT, N.Y. - Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Practical Joke was all business as rain began to fall Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, getting his nose down at the wire to upset 9-5 favorite Syndergaard with a neck victory in the 145th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne for 2-year-olds
Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational
Pure Sensation nothing but one in Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational
ELMONT, N.Y. - Pure Sensation tracked Power Alert through blistering early fractions and caught the pacesetter right at the wire to win the inaugural running of the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
Hugging the rail under Kendrick Carmouche as Power Alert zipped through an opening quarter-mile in 21.86 seconds and a half in 44.49, Pure Sensation took aim on the front-runner once straightened for home. Digging in gamely, Power Alert refused to give way but Pure Sensation p
revailed after a stretch-long battle to win by a head.
G1 Flower Bowl - Lady Eli
Second time the charm for Lady Eli as she returns to winner's circle in G1 Flower Bowl
ELMONT, N.Y. - Making her second start after more than a year away from the races, Lady Eli returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 4-year-old filly, who is owned by Sheep Pond Partners, was greeted with hearty applause following her three-quarter-length win over pacesetter Sentiero Italia in the 1 1/4-mile turf race. It was Lady Eli's first victory since capturing the Belmont Oaks Invitational in July 2015 at Belmont Park.
Anchor Down cuts loose in G2 Kelso ‘Cap
ELMONT, N.Y. - Alto Racing's Anchor Down took the lead a few short strides out of the gate and never looked back as he rolled to a two-length victory over Tamarkuz in the Grade 2, $350,000 Kelso Handicap, the second of six graded stakes on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
With Tamarkuz on his flank, leading a closely bunched field of rivals, Anchor Down strode through an opening quarter-mile in 23.30 seconds, then picked up the pace under jockey Javier Castellano, getting the half in 45.74. Launching a bid rounding the turn, Tamarkuz confronted Anchor Down at the quarter-pole but the 5-year-old gray son of Tapit shrugged off that challenge and pulled clear to hit the wire in 1:32.90 for the mile.
Frizette:Yellow Agate punches ticket to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
ELMONT, N.Y. - Yellow Agate overtook Libby's Tail in deep stretch, rallying to capture the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette, a "Win and You're in" Breeders' Cup challenge, in the first of six graded stakes on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
China Horse Club's Yellow Agate won by a head in her stakes debut to earn an all-fees-paid trip to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November at Santa Anita Park. Trained by Christophe Clement, she improved to 2-for-2 in her career.
Thursday, October 06 2016
Hoppertunity knocks in G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup
ELMONT, N.Y. - After chasing Horse of the Year front-runner California Chrome from southern California to Dubai and back again this season, Mike Pegram's hard-knocking Hoppertunity makes his New York debut and will vie for favoritism with the equally durable Effinex and Woodward runner-up Mubtaahij in the 98th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
Saturday, October 01 2016
Forever Unbridled runs away with G1 Beldame
ELMONT, N.Y. - Patiently handled by Joel Rosario, heavily favored Forever Unbridled unleashed a devastating late run through the stretch to overpower her six rivals with a 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song was content to run along in mid-pack as Off the Tracks and Paola Queen knocked heads through an opening quarter-mile in 24.34 seconds, with the half going in 49.03 and three-quarters in 1:14.06. Revving up on the far turn, Forever Unbridled swung four wide into the stretch and strode past the embattled front-runners under a hand ride, to hit the wire in 1:50.24 for 1 1/8 miles over the muddy, sealed track.
Joking all business in winning G1 Vosburgh
ELMONT, N.Y. - Joking captured the $350,000 Vosburgh on Saturday at Belmont Park to record his first Grade 1 victory and in the process earned an all-fees-paid trip to the Breeders' Cup Sprint as part of the "Win and You're In" challenge series.
Owned and trained by Charlton Baker, the 7-year-old bay gelding won for the fourth consecutive time.
Ectot upsets Flintshire in G1 Joe Hirsch
ELMONT, N.Y. - Over a turf course listed as yielding, Ectot earned his first victory in North America and an automatic berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita by upsetting 1-5 favorite Flintshire in the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the rail with Jose Ortiz aboard, Ectot went straight to the lead and set modest fractions of 49.85 seconds for the opening half-mile with three-quarters in 1:15.03. The 5-year-old British-bred son of Hurricane Run continued to lead as heavily favored Flintshire trailed early.