Teaks North, victorious Oct. 30 in the Big Brown at Monmouth and third Nov. 20 in the Discovery (G3) at Aqueduct, covered a firm 1 1/8th-mile turf course in 1:46.39. A 4-year-old gelding by Northern Afleet who began his career at Calder, Teaks North has won five of 12 career starts.
Trainer Justin Sallusto (Teaks North): “This horse came to me last February (at Belmont). He’s been a top horse for us and won stakes on dirt and turf. We were between running him in the Sunshine Millions Turf last weekend at Santa Anita or this race and decided this race might come up easier, and it looks like we made the right decision. We just shipped in on Wednesday. We haven’t decided on anything next for him just yet.”
Jockey Jose Valdivia (Teaks North): “It’s unbelievable. I thought there were some legitimate speed horses in the race and around the first turn they back it up. I just think he’s really coming into his own and is a really good turf horse. I couldn’t have had a better trip. I just tipped him off horses and he finished up really strong.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Battle of Hastings): “He was just flat today. I was right behind the winner and he just kicked away from me.”
Jockey Edgar Prado (Smart Bid): “Everything worked out according to plan. We were in a great spot. When I asked him he kicked in and gave me all he could. We just lost on the wire. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes.”