Belmont Stakes highlights stellar week of racing in New York

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 14th, 2016

The Belmont Stakes topped a sensational weekend of racing at Belmont Park.

Belmont S. (G1): WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay’s CREATOR (Tapit) took aim on the leader clear inside the final furlong and got his nose in front to pick up a classic win for trainer Steve Asmussen. The sophomore colt got his 1 1/2 miles on the fast main oval in 2:28 2/5 with Irad Ortiz in the stirrups.

Metropolitan H. (G1): Godolphin’s homebred FROSTED (Tapit) seized the lead in early stretch and closed with a fury to romp by 14 1/4 lengths for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The four-year-old colt went a mile on the fast main strip in a fantastic 1:32 3/5 under the guidance of Joel Rosario.

Manhattan S. (G1): Juddmonte Farms’ homebred FLINTSHIRE (GB) (Dansili [GB]) spurted to the lead inside the final furlong and left little doubt late in securing a 1 3/4-length victory for trainer Chad Brown. The classy world traveler went 1 1/4 miles on the firm inner lawn in 1:58 4/5 under Javier Castellano.

Acorn S. (G1): Three Chimneys Farm’s CARINA MIA (Malibu Moon) got into contention at the top of the lane and powered clear late in posting a 1 1/4-length score in this talented field. The Bill Mott trainee stopped the teletimer in 1:34 4/5 for one mile on the fast main oval under Julien Leparoux.

Just a Game S. (G1): James Bryan’s CELESTINE (Scat Daddy) tracked in second to the top of the lane, inched to the forefront in early stretch and poured it on late to earn a 3 3/4-length tally beneath Junior Alvarado. The four-year-old filly sizzled one mile on the firm outer turf in 1:31 3/5 for conditioner Bill Mott.

Ogden Phipps S. (G1): Stonestreet Stables’ CAVORTING (Bernardini) was last turning for home  but blew past her foes with a big move in early stretch, and the filly was 2 1/2 lengths clear under the wire. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee got 1 1/16 miles on the fast main oval in a sensational 1:40 beneath Florent Geroux.

New York S. (G2): Sheep Pond Partners et al’s DACITA (Chi) (Scat Daddy) got into full gear inside the final furlong and got up late to register a half-length win for trainer Chad Brown. The five-year-old mare endured 1 1/4 miles on the firm inner turf in 2:01 2/5 with Irad Ortiz in the silks.

True North S. (G2): Trainer Charlton Baker’s JOKING (was last in midstretch but closed with a rush to secure a neck decision under Manny Franco. The seven-year-old gelding sped six panels on the fast main oval in 1:08.

Woody Stephens S. (G2): G M B Racing’s TOM’S READY (More Than Ready) sat in last to the top of the stretch, and then turned on the burners, rolling past his foes to win by 1 1/4 lengths at the finish. The Dallas Stewart trainee got seven-eighths on the fast dirt surface in 1:21 1/5 with Joel Rosario in the controls.

Jaipur S. (G3): Patricia Generazio’s homebred PURE SENSATION (Zensational) gained the lead soon after the break and fought off determined foes on two occasions in earning a neck victory with Jose Ortiz in the silks. The five-year-old gelding went six panels on the firm outer lawn in a swift 1:06 3/5 for Christophe Clement.

Track Stats

A total of 43 races were held over the main strip at the Elmont, New York, venue, with favorites winning at a 32 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 53 percent of the wins during the week. From 26 races on the main oval, three animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (12 percent), while two of the 17 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (12 percent).

Speed had little to no edge on the main strip this past week, with all three wire-to-wire winners coming in sprint runs on Thursday and Friday. Late runners and horses running a few paths off the rail did a lot of the best work here.

From two wire jobs on the green, both came in sprints on the outer lawn. We thought that all runners had a chance on the turf, with a possible edge to horses rallying from off the pace.

Meet Totals

RACES:   297
DIRT:   167
TURF:   130
FAVORITES:   112 (38 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   57 (19 percent)
TURF WIRE:   24 (18 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   31 (19 percent)



Thursday (6/9)

1ST – PORTMAGEE (Hard Spun) chased a clear leader to late stretch, but held on for a clear third, and she looks like a decent prospect for conditioner Christophe Clement. The three-year-old filly was well-backed in this debut performance and could graduate with a forward move next time out.

3RD – RACHEL’S TEMPER (Flatter) trailed to the turn for home in this small field, and then exploded late, in posting a fine allowance win in this dash. The five-year-old will be super tough in a subsequent try with anything like this showing.

4TH – ON LEAVE (War Front) was always placed in a good spot and took over readily in the lane en route to a facile maiden tally for conditioner Shug McGaughey. The well-bred sophomore could be a real nice one with continued development.

7TH – BODE’S DREAM (Bodemeister) got the jump from the break and was never headed on her way to a commanding stakes tally for trainer Todd Pletcher. The two-year-old filly has run a pair of fine ones to start her career and may be one of the fleetest two-year-old fillies in training right now.

Friday (6/10)

4TH – SILVER MISSION (Mission Impazible) was fastest early and best late in rolling to a 6 1/4-length score beneath John Velazquez. The Pletcher pupil is very fast and will be graded stakes bound in his return.

5TH – KAREENA (Medaglia d’Oro) was tons the best at a short price in this stakes run, and the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has star written all over her. The very well-bred three-year-old filly is bred to get more ground and we look forward to watching her all summer.

Saturday (6/11)

3RD – Carina Mia has been awesome in her last pair of runs and could end up being the top three-year-old filly in the states at the end of this season.

5TH – We’ve long admired Cavorting and she is in the best form of her lifetime in our view since getting a bit more ground to work with. The four-year-old loves Saratoga and could have a monstrous second half of 2016 with continued ascension.

9TH – We’re not sure what to say about the performance put in by Frosted, which blew us away. The colt will be impossible to beat this season if he continues to run races like this one.

Sunday (6/12)

2ND – PLATINUM SPARK (Hansen) tracked in second and was best late in posting a professional win at first asking for trainer David Donk. The two-year-old filly won for a barn not great first time out of the box, so she might be a nice prospect going forward.

9TH – GOING FOR BROKE (Blame) has run a trio of very good races to begin her career, the last two resulting in wins, and the Chad Brown trainee looks like a nice one. The three-year-old came home in a swift :24 2/5 and is bred to go longer, too.


The $300,000 Poker S. (G3) on Saturday is the lone graded race at Belmont Park this weekend.