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Oct 10, 2014

AMERICAN TURF CLUB

By: JOE GIRARDI


               On the weekend of October 4th and 5th Belmont hosted three graded races on Saturday October 4th, two Grade I’s and a Grade III and then two Grade II’s on Sunday October 5th.

               On Saturday October 4th, the Grade I Frizette for two year old fillies was run over one mile with a purse of $500,000. There was a seven horse field that went postward with undefeated Condo Commando going off as the 4-5 favorite based off two huge wins at Saratoga. Cavorting, the second choice broke well from the rail and came out running on the lead, By The Moon, second to Condo Commando at Saratoga was sitting second. Condo Commando got away in third and stalked the leaders from the outside through fractions of 22:3, 46, 1:11:2. As they moved around the turn and into the lane By The Moon took over the lead and began to edge away with Wonder Gal closing well to finish second over Feathered who was third while Condo Commando checked in fourth despite bearing out in the lane. The final time of the race was a slow 1:39:2 with the final ¼ mile coming in just under 28 seconds. It looks like By The Moon will be going to the Breeders’ Cup but Condo Commando will probably be staying home.

               In the Grade I Champagne, a race for two year olds over one mile with a purse of $500,000, there was a field of six that went postward. Daredevil, an easy winner in his debut run went off as the 8-5 favorite with El Kabeir, a big maiden winner at Saratoga going off as the second choice at 5-2. When the gates opened, Holy Boss came out running from midpack and set the pace with Daredevil sitting second over the sloppy/sealed track. El Kabeir, was off to the best of starts from the rail and then was rank as he moved up in between horses. Holy Boss still held the lead past a ½ mile while under pressure from Dareadevil through fractions of 22:4, 46:1, 1:11:1. As they moved into the lane Daredevil took over the lead while under a good hold, Upstart, the undefeated New York bred was making a big wide move around the turn and got within a few lengths of the leader but couldn’t sustain that run and Daredevil went on to score handily by more than two lengths. The final time of the race was a solid 1:36:3, Upstart was a clear second more than 12 lengths ahead of The Truth Or Else who finished third. Daredevil looks like he is the real deal and can’t wait to see him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

               The Grade III Hill Prince was also run that day and that race went to favored Ring Weekend who got up to win by a half-length over 39-1 longshot Daddy’s Kid in a very slow time of 1:55:2. Wouldn’t expect to see anyone moving on to the Breeders’ Cup out of this race.

               On Sunday October 5th Belmont hosted two Grade II races both for two year olds and both sprinting. The Grade II Futurity for two year olds was run over six furlongs with a purse of $200,000. There was a field of five that went postward with Blofeld going off as the 6-5 favorite and undefeated Hebbronville going off as the 8-5 second choice. As they broke from the gate, Cinco Charlie came out running for the lead and set the fractions of 23, 46:1, 57:3 with Blofeld and Hebbronville in pursuit second and third. Blofeld, moved up on the inside at the end of the backstretch but had to check out of that spot and lost valuable lengths. However, as they moved into the lane, Cinco Charlie was digging in, Blofeld under John Velazquez started to gain momentum and pushed on by up the inside to score by ¾’s of a length, Hebbronville stayed on and got up for second late over Cinco Charlie who finished third in a sharp 1:09:2. Blofeld is now two for two for Todd Pletcher and has a bright future ahead of him.

               The Grade II Matron was also run on this day, a Grade II race for two year old fillies run over six furlongs with a purse of $200,000. There was a field of eight that went postward with Paris Bikini going off as the 4-5 favorite based off an easy win in her debut. When they broke from the gate, Evrybdymstgetstonz came out running for the lead and set the pace through fractions of 22:2, 46, 58:1 with Paris Bikini in pursuit. As they moved around the turn and into the lane Paris Bikini began to tire while Evrybdymstgetstonz was still there but the closers were moving in. Paulassilverlining and Skipalute ran on by the leaders and came that way to the wire with Paulassilverling scoring by more than a length. Skipalute was second and Evrybdymstgetstonz held on for third. That was the second graded stakes win for jockey Jose Ortiz and trainer Michelle Nevin as they were the connections of By The Moon the day before. The final time of the race was 1:10:4 over a second slower than the males earlier in the day.

 



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