Familiar trainers take two-year-old stakes at Belmont
Oct 09, 2014 | 6574 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The horses come around the final turn in the second race of the day last Thursday at Belmont. No Herring under Joel Rosario held off the field to snag the winner’s share of the $41,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
The horses come around the final turn in the second race of the day last Thursday at Belmont. No Herring under Joel Rosario held off the field to snag the winner’s share of the $41,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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In the third race of the day, Taxplayer and jockey Taylor Rice held off Reggie D under Angel Arroyo and jockey Andre Shivnarine Worrie and Cay to Pomeroy over six furlongs on the dirt. The purse was $25,000. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
In the third race of the day, Taxplayer and jockey Taylor Rice held off Reggie D under Angel Arroyo and jockey Andre Shivnarine Worrie and Cay to Pomeroy over six furlongs on the dirt. The purse was $25,000. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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It was déjà vu on Sunday at Belmont Park as trainers Todd Pletcher and Michelle Nevin took a pair of prominent stakes for 2-year-olds, virtually mirroring Saturday’s results.

Pletcher, who sent out Daredevil to victory in the Grade 1 Champagne on Saturday, took the Grade 2, $200,000 Futurity on Sunday with Blofeld.

Nevin, who captured her first Grade 1 race with By the Moon in the Frizette on Saturday, won the Grade 2 Matron $200,000 with Paulassilverlining.

Blofeld, sent off as the 6-5 favorite, was away from the gate well but outgunned to the lead by Cinco Charlie. Under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Blofeld advanced along the inside of the pacesetter down the backstretch, but was forced to steady as the seam closed abruptly.

Turning for home, Cinco Charlie spurted away from the field, and was met on the outside by 8-5 second choice Hebbronville while Blofeld appeared beaten along the rail in third.

With a sixteenth to the wire, Blofeld found another gear and surged to the front to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Hebbronville.

“It wasn’t the trip I was expecting, but he still won,” said Velazquez. “We got squeezed out of a spot near the half-mile pole and he was getting a little bit intimidated, but once he got his momentum going he came back again.”

Blofeld, who boosted his bankroll to $169,800, is likely to make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua on November 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack, according to Pletcher.

After flashing good early zip in her first two starts, Paulassilverlining was content to settle in fifth down the backstretch under Jose Ortiz as Evrybdymstgetstonz led the field.

With five-sixteenths to travel, the daughter of Ghostzapper was bottled up in traffic, but a patient Ortiz stayed the course until running room presented itself at the quarter pole.

Ortiz gently guided Paulassilverlining to the outside at that juncture, and his mount did the rest, surging to a 1 ¼-length victory.

“I couldn’t have been happier,” said Nevin. “Jose gave her a perfect ride and everything worked out for us.”

Paulassilverlining, a Vincent Scuderi homebred, enhanced her bankroll to $173,950.

(Sean Morris) Weekend grabs the brass ring

Ring Weekend proved he can handle soft turf by making a late charge to win the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince for 3-year-olds on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Seeking his second straight stakes score, Ring Weekend raced behind cover along the hedge before he forged to the front under Irad Ortiz, Jr.’s drive to prevail by a half-length.

“He broke out of there and put me in a good position,” said Ortiz. “I took hold, he relaxed, and he took off when I asked him.”

In his previous start, Ring Weekend won the Grade 3 Saranac by 2 ¾ lengths over “good” turf on September 1 at Saratoga Race Course.

He is 2-2-0 in four turf starts and 4-3-2 in 12 starts overall. On the dirt, he won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March.

Ring Weekend is trained by H. Graham Motion for owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable.

Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, said he and Motion had a brief telephone discussion about whether they should try Ring Weekend on soft ground.

(Jon Forbes) Looking Ahead

This Saturday at Belmont Park will see the running if the Grade III Knickerbocker for three-year-olds on the turf. It carries of purse of $200,000.

Sunday will feature the running of the Grade III Athenia, also for three-year-olds with a purse of $200,000.
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