American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown
In one of the most exciting moments in racing history, American Pharoah drew away down the stretch of the $1,500,000 Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, American Pharoah (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Victor Espinoza wasted no time and went right to the lead, getting only mild pressure from Materiality (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection). American Pharoah relaxed down the backstretch and got through three quarters in 1:13.41 seconds. As they came to the top of the stretch, Frosted (BetPTC.com Top Selection) loomed up and looked like he might offer a challenge, but American Pharoah responded when asked and drew off down the lane, opening up to win by five and a half lengths. Frosted finished up in second with Keen Ice getting up for third.
In the Manhattan Stakes it was Slumber and Irad Ortiz who put in a furious late rally to get up and win the Grade 1 event. Sent off at odds of 14/1, Slumber was eighth early on as War Dancer and Legendary went out and battled for the lead. Legendary kicked clear at the top of the lane but Slumber had all the momentum and came and got him, drawing clear to win by almost three lengths in the end over a late closing Big Blue Kitten (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who finished second. In the Grade 1 Met Mile it was Honor Code (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who rallied from last to get the win. Private Zone (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went to the front as expected and set a strong pace. Private Zone had the lead into the lane but Honor Code and Javier Castellano blew on by late to get up and win by three and three quarter lengths. Tonalist (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) got up for second with Private Zone third completing a $290 trifecta.
In the Grade 1 Just a Game it was Tepin (BetPTC.com Longshot) who got up late under Julien Leparoux to score by a half length over a stubborn Filimbi (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection). Discreet Marq set the fractions in the Just a Game and turned for home in front, but both Tepin and Filimbi blew by at the sixteenth pole and battled it out late, with Tepin getting the nod. Curalina (BetPTC.com Longshot) scored a 7/1 win in the Grade 1 Acorn, beating a very talented group of fillies in the process. Curalina was fifth early on as Promise Me Silver (BetPTC.com Top Selection) rushed up to get the early lead. By the Moon grabbed the lead from Promise Me Silver at the top of the lane and tried to kick clear in mid-stretch. But Curalina methodically made her way into contention and reeled in By the Moon late to win by a neck.
Coach Inge had to dig in and rerally to best VE Day to win the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at a mile and a half. VE Day grabbed the lead in mid-stretch and looked like he would win with ease, but Coach Inge and John Velazquez had more left in the tank and came back to win by a neck. Wedding Toast pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the day beating Untapable in the Ogden Phipps. Untapable (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was 3/5 and highly thought of, but Wedding Toast got to the lead and never looked back, opening up at will down the lane to score by five lengths over Untapable who finished second. Channel Marker (BetPTC.com Longshot) scored a 10/1 upset taking the Jaipur Stakes in off the pace fashion. He had to reel in a loose on the lead Something Extra to get the win. March upset the Grade 2 Woody Stephens, winning by a nose at 10/1 over fellow 10/1 shot Cinco Charlie who finished second.
Rock Fall wins the True North
Rock Fall (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) made short work of his competition on Friday as he dominated the Grade 2 True North Stakes. He grabbed the lead early on and got to a half mile in 45.02 seconds under a good hold from Javier Castellano. He gradually edged clear down the lane and won with ease by three and three quarter lengths over Stallwalkin Dude (BetPTC.com Longshot) and Dads Caps (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who finished second and third respectively.
Waltzing Matilda pulled off a 22/1 upset winning the Grade 2 New York Stakes. Waltzing Matilda was sixth early on as Kitten’s Queen set the pace up front. Kitten’s Queen brought that lead into mid-stretch but Waltzing Matilda and Eastern Belle (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went by late and finished 1-2 respectively. In the 2 mile long Belmont Gold Cup it was Innovation Economy who rallied from 9th early on to get up and beat the race favorite Unitarian (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) in the final yards. Unitarian got to the lead at the top of the lane and looked like he might be gone, but Innovation Economy came late with a 7 wide move and got up just in time to win by a neck.
Kiss Moon takes home top honors in the Mint Julep Stakes
Kiss Moon had to turn in a big late kick to just get up in time to win the $100,000 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Sent off at odds of 8/1, Kiss Moon and Corey Lanerie stalked from third throughout much of the race as I’m Already Sexy (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) grabbed the lead early in the race. I’m Already Sexy tried to make a break for it at the top of the lane but Kiss Moon would have none of that and she was able to get the lead late and win by a head over I’m Already Sexy. Strike Charmer finished up in third.