Super Saturday at Belmont lives up to the billing
Oct 03, 2013 | 1083 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the sixth race of the day - one mile on dirt with a $400,000 purse - Edgar Prado and Graydar took the win. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
In the sixth race of the day - one mile on dirt with a $400,000 purse - Edgar Prado and Graydar took the win. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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In the seventh race of the day, Martin Pedroza rode Private Zone to a narrow win over Justin Phillip and jockey John Velazquez to net the $400,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
In the seventh race of the day, Martin Pedroza rode Private Zone to a narrow win over Justin Phillip and jockey John Velazquez to net the $400,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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The horses leave the gate (left) at the start of the eighth race at Belmont Park on Saturday. (Photo: Michael O’Kane)
The horses leave the gate (left) at the start of the eighth race at Belmont Park on Saturday. (Photo: Michael O’Kane)
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Laughing under jockey Jose Lezcano took a 1 1/4-mile showdown on turf and the $600,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O’Kane)
Laughing under jockey Jose Lezcano took a 1 1/4-mile showdown on turf and the $600,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O’Kane)
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Ron the Greek, overlooked at 21-1 in a Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational field of Grade 1 stars, barreled into the lead on the far turn and pulled clear to an overpowering 6 3/4-length triumph in the 95th edition of the Grade 1, $1 million race on Saturday at Belmont Park.

The victory over Belmont Stakes hero Palace Malice, two-time defending champion Flat Out and Kentucky Derby winner Orb, among others, earned Ron the Greek an all-fees paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge series.

“There wouldn’t have been many horses who would have beaten [Ron the Greek] yesterday,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said the next day. “He might have fired his best shot right there. I’m not [going to be] disappointed if he doesn’t fire that one back.”

“I put him in position, and when I asked him he took off and was gone,” said jockey Jose Lezcano. “He never stopped. It was unbelievable.”

Buzz Tenney, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, reported Sunday morning that Orb appeared well following his last-place finish.

Orb, who bobbled at the start of the race, was placed three wide in fifth place for the first six furlongs and then faded.

“Orb seemed to come back fine,” Tenney said. “He cooled out fine, and we put him on the van and sent him back to Fair Hill [Md.] last night. Really no excuses we could see.”

Runner-up Palace Malice finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of 5-2 favorite Flat Out

“He showed his 3-year-old form was legit,” said trainer Todd Pletcher “He ran well against older horses.”
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