|Saturday, June 10|
|Saturday, June 10|
|Race 2||Claiming – $4,000||$6,800|
|Race 3||Maiden Claiming – $5,000||$6,400|
|Race 4||Claiming – $10,000||$11,200|
|Race 5||Claiming – $4,000||$6,600|
|Race 6||Claiming – $2,500||$6,400|
|Race 8||Maiden Claiming – $8,000||$7,800|
Tapwrit handed trainer Todd Pletcher a third career victory in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, taking aim on front-running favorite Irish War Cry at the top of the stretch and then surging into the lead in the final yards to win Saturday’s 149th edition of the ‘Test of the Champion’ at Belmont Park by two lengths.
Expertly handled by Jose Ortiz, whose older brother, Irad Ortiz, Jr. won last year’s Belmont aboard Creator, Tapwrit enjoyed a ground-saving trip in third as jockey Rajiv Maragh sent Irish War Cry through moderate fractions of 23.88 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, with the half going in 48.66, three quarters in 1:14.01, a mile in 1:38.95 and 1 ¼ miles in 2:04.10.
Irish War Cry appeared to have the race in hand turning for home and held a length advantage over Tapwrit in upper stretch, but under left-handed urging from Ortiz, Tapwrit kicked into high gear to wrest control with 100 yards left and go on to victory. ;
“Tapwrit was getting a beautiful trip,” said Pletcher. “It was everything we talked about in the paddock before the race. We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep.”
Tapwrit’s winning time for 1 1/2 miles was 2:30.02.
It was the second victory in five starts this year for the gray son of Tapit, who took the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March in impressive fashion but subsequently finished fifth in the Grade 2 Blue Grass and then sixth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Pletcher held the colt out of the Preakness, the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown, a move that resulted in Tapwrit becoming the fourth Belmont winner in the past six years to take that path.
“[Belmont Park] is our home base and I think that’s always an advantage,” said Pletcher, who won the Belmont in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches and in 2013 with Palace Malice, as well as getting narrowly beaten with Destin in last year’s edition. “We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance.”
Irish War Cry held on to finish 5 ¾ lengths head of Patch – also trained by Pletcher – with Gormley along for fourth.
“It actually wasn’t our plan to be on the lead,” said Graham Motion, trainer of the beaten favorite. “We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, but he had to go to Plan B and Rajiv did a great job. At the eighth pole I thought we might be home free, but it’s the Belmont. It’s a tough race.”
Sent off as the 5-1 second choice in the field of 11, Tapwrit returned $12.60 for a $2 win bet. He earned $800,000 for his owners, Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta, and with a record of 4-1-0 from eight starts, has earned $1,143,902, almost as much as his purchase price of $1.2 million at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton yearling sales in Saratoga Springs, New York.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling that I can’t explain,” said Ortiz, the leading rider on the New York Racing Association circuit in 2016. “The distance, I was sure he could handle it. It was a great training job by Todd. I always liked him and we always had a lot of faith in him. Today he showed up. I’m very happy.”
Completing the order of finish were were Senior Investment, Twisted Tom, Looking At Lee – the only horse to have competed in all three legs of racing’s Triple Crown – Meantime, J Boys Echo, Multiplier, and Hollywood Handsome, who was eased.
Epicharis was scratched Saturday morning due to continuing inflammation in his right front hoof.
Fox Hill Farm’s star filly Songbird didn’t miss a beat when she made her much anticipated return in the 49th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day.
The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, sent away as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite in her 2017 debut, broke sharply under Hall of Famer Mike Smith and went effortlessly to the front, leading the field of seven through an opening quarter-mile in 23.99 seconds, with Paid Up Subscriber looming a length back to her inside and Carina Mia stalking from the three path.
After a half in 47.27, Paid Up Subscriber went on the attack, mounting an early bid to get a length ahead of Songbird in the middle of the turn. Smith sat patiently aboard Songbird in the two path turning for home, sweeping past Paid Up Subscriber with a shake of reins to hold clear by a length under the wire.
The victory was the first for Songbird, trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, since she was handed the first defeat of her career by four-time champion mare Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last November. Songbird, named champion 2- and 3-year-old filly in 2015 and 2016, respectively, completed the Phipps in 1:42.24 and returned $2.70 for a $2 win wager.
“She jumped really, really well [out of the gate] and I stayed off the fence today, just because it’s her first race back, said Smith, picking up his third stakes victory on the card. “If someone wanted to get brave and move early at her, I’d rather move in [to] my inside so that I could wait and keep my position. That part worked out and after that, I hand rode her home. She got a little tired but she is supposed to.”
Songbird’s victory was her 12th overall from 13 career starts over six different racetracks. She reeled off 11 consecutive wins through her 2- and 3-year-old campaigns. The winner’s share of the Phipps purse boosts her lifetime earnings to $4,112,000.
The win also awards her an all-fees-paid berth into the Grade 1, $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on November 3 at Del Mar.
“A good horse takes to all the tracks, it seems like, and she’s a good one,” said Hollendorfer. “We’re blessed to have her. I didn’t have any second thoughts during the week about keeping her at home and running her in the Beholder instead. I talked to [owner] Rick Porter [of Fox Hill Farms] about that and we were pretty much unanimous that we should come here, not to duck those two good fillies [Vale Dori and Stellar Wind] on the West Coast, but Rick likes to run for the money and he likes to run in New York. That’s why we did that.”
Highway Star closed late to finish third, 2 ½ lengths behind Paid Up Subscriber. Carina Mia was fourth, followed by Verve’s Tale, Factory of Faith and Bar of Gold.
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 10, 2017)–With a late surge at the rail under the master, Gary Stevens, Sharp Samurai easily overtook favored Conquest Farenheit to win Saturday’s $75,000 Rainbow Stakes at Santa Anita by 1 ¼ lengths
An attentive fifth with three furlongs to run, Sharp Samurai was full of run while in the two-path turning for home when Stevens opted to dive to the rail, inside both pacesetter Monster Man and Conquest Farenheit.
“That was a Hall of Fame ride,” said Glatt. “Gary put up one helluva ride there, believe me. I thought he’d be up closer, but if we can get him back like that (off the pace), we’ll take it. This horse hasn’t done anything wrong since his first race. Last time (a fourth place finish in a one mile turf stakes here on May 6), he got into a bit of a pace duel…I think a mile and an eighth might be his best distance.”
Off at 5-1 in a field of 11 three year olds, Sharp Samurai paid $12.80, $5.40 and $3.80.
Owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood, he’s now unbeaten in two starts at a mile and one eighth on turf and he now has three wins from six overall starts. With the winner’s share of $46,980, Sharp Samurai, a Kentucky-bred gelding by First Samurai, boosted his earnings to $105,870.
“They didn’t expect him to be that far back but I got in the pocket and he was switched off,” said Stevens, a member of racing’s Hall of Fame since 1997. “He was very, very mature and I didn’t ask him for anything. I was pretty sure I had a lot of horse. When Santiago (Gonzalez, aboard Monster Man) drifted off the fence in the stretch, I asked my horse and I was right, he was loaded. It was a lot of fun.”
Ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., Conquest Farenheit was lapped on the pacesetter turning for home and proved second best, finishing 1 ¼ lengths clear of Monster Man. Off at even money, Conquest Farenheit paid $2.80 and $2.20.
Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, Monster Man was dispatched at 11-1 and paid $5.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.70, 48.18, 1:11.95 and 1:35.75.
Racing resumes on Sunday at Santa Anita with a 10-race program. First post time is at 1 p.m., admission gates open at 11 a.m. For complete racing information, please visit santaanita.com.
HASTINGS SATURDAY PREVIEW
Thoroughbred racing returns to Hastings Racecourse today with a seven race card that will feature nine colts and geldings battling for a healthy $27,000 purse in a no-tag maiden event in race number five.
On the rail is the Carlton Stable’s NAUGHTY NUMAN who has trained well for his 2017 debut. He sports a wealth of long distance morning drills and has been particularly good his in two final preps. He looks to be a player in here. He finished in mid-pack in his lone start last year and will get Richard Hamel in the irons again for trainer Charlene Miller.
Rob and Sheena Maybin’s MASTER EWEN hit the board once in his three tries at this level lat fall. He has a series of good workouts and could be dangerous in his return to the races. Silvino Morales rides for trainer Rob Maybin.
The Hastings Racing Club’s CATCH TWENTY ONE had a decent season last year but seems to have turned the corner as he finished a game fourth in his 2017 debut. He was close to the pace and ran on well. Romario Saunders will once again get the rising assignment from trainer Steve Henson.
Milton Palma owns and trains MARIO’S MISTAKE who has turned in a significant amount of works prior to running this afternoon. He is difficult one to assess but I still have to respect the connections. Newcomer Ronald Richard well get he call.
Georg Morgan’s FETISOV had a troubled journey in his latest and ended up a better-than-looked third. He has the ability to beat this group and I expect him to be better today. Jeff Burningham will get a leg up from Mike Anderson.
Clint Willson’s BROTHER BRIAN will be making his initial start of 2017 after a decent two year old campaign. The red-hot Ruben Lara will be aboard.
The North American Thoroughbred Horse Company’s MAJESTICAL didn’t show much in his debut last fall but his worktab indicates things could be far better for him this year. David Lopez rides for trainer Glen Todd.
Russ and Lois Bennett’s SOL CAT was an unlucky loser at this level last time out and likely only needs to repeat that race to win today. Enrique Gonzalez will sub for the injured Jose Asencio for trainer Barbara Heads.
Bill DeCoursey’s HANDSOME CHEF never seemed to be happy on the inside of horses in his return to the races which led to his disappointing eighth place finish. He has far more ability than that race showed and he deserves a second chance. Amadeo Perez is staying with the Barbara Heads runner.
The racing action gets started at 11:50 p.m. and the Sea-to-Sky players will be interested to know that there is a carryover of just over $7,100. The Belmont Stakes highlights the day and the race is scheduled to run at 3:37 p.m. our time. I am going to take a shot on MULTIPLIER to beat LOOKIN AT LEE and the distance specialist TAPWRIT.
Enjoy the day everyone !!!
SONGBIRD ARRIVING AT BELMONT
|FIFTH RACE||Probable Post 1:52 EDT|
|1 1/16 Miles. 4-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. OPhipps (Grade 1). Purse: $750,000|
|5||Songbird||Smith M E||123||1-2|
|7||Carina Mia||Leparoux J R||121||6-1|
|2||Paid Up Subscriber||Castellano J J||117||8-1|
|1||Highway Star||Arroyo A S||119||10-1|
|6||Bar of Gold||Rosario J||115||12-1|
|4||Verve’s Tale||Saez L||117||20-1|
|3||Factory of Faith||Ortiz J L||115||30-1|