Minorette scores in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks
Minorette and Joel Rosario rallied down the outside to get up and win the $1,000,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Belmont. One of the headlining events on a huge day, the Belmont Oaks Invitational started out with Sea Queen going out to the front early on and setting a very moderate pace, including a half mile in 50.14 seconds for the opening half mile. Minorette stayed back in third throughout much of the race and it looked like Sea Queen might start to edge away as she was a length clear in mid-stretch. But the final sixteenth it was all Minorette who blasted away in the final yards to draw clear to win by two lengths in the end. Sea Queen stayed on for second while Summer Solo got up for third at 33/1.
The richest event on the day was the $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational that saw Mr. Speaker rally from last to pull off a huge 23/1 upset win. Mr. Speaker was tenth early on as Pornichet opened up a very large lead in the early going, going five in front and blasting through a quarter in 23.65 seconds. Pornichet brought the lead to the top of the stretch but was all out of gas when they hit the straightaway. Adelaide was the first to grab the lead and opened up in mid-stretch. But Mr. Speaker and Jose Lezcano came flying up the inside and they got up in the final yards to win by a neck. The Grade 2 $500,000 Suburban Handicap saw Zivo also go from last to first as he won the event going away by three lengths. Sent off at 13/1 odds, Zivo and Jose Lezcano were last early on and twelve lengths behind Moreno who was on the lead early in the race. Moreno kept slugging it out on the lead and held many of the challengers at bay in the stretch, but Zivo just had too much momentum left and got up to pull away late. Moreno held second ahead of Prayer for Relief who finished in third.
Clearly Now put in one of the more memorable sprint wins in recent months as he pulled away down the lane to dominate the Belmont Sprint Championship. Clearly Now sat a perfect trip under Jose Lezcano in fourth down on the rail and as they came into the stretch the seas parted and they burst on through to win going away by six and one quarter lengths. Palace (BetPTC.com Top Selection) got up for second after a wide trip and Salutos Amigos was third. In the Grade 3 Dwyer it was Kid Cruz (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who blew right by his stablemate Captain Serious in the final yards to get up and win. Captain Serious (BetPTC.com Top Selection) had gone to the lead and opened up a two length lead in mid-stretch, but Kid Cruz and Irad Ortiz came flying to get up and win late by 3/4 of a length over Captain Serious. Ulanbator (BetPTC.com Longshot) finished in third.
Shared Belief dominates the Los Alamitos Derby
Shared Belief made his first stakes start of the season on Saturday and he did it in style, dominating the $500,000 Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby. Sent off as the prohibitive 3/5 choice, Shared Belief (BetPTC.com Top Selection) sat just behind pacesetter Can The Man in the early going as went down the long Los Alamitos backstretch. Shared Belief came under pressure at the top of the lane as he came after the leader and was challenged by Candy Boy (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who was poised just behind him as they straightened away. But Mike Smith and Shared Belief had plenty left in the tank and drew away down the lane to a four and one quarter length win over Candy Boy. It was another seven lengths back to Tonito M. who ran 3rd.
Lexie Lou beats the boys in the Queens Plate
Lexie Lou won the most prestigious race for Canadian-breds on Saturday when she beat fourteen male rivals in taking the $1,000,000 Queens Plate at Woodbine. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Lexie Lou (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was ninth early on as Asserting Bear went to the front to set the pace. Heavily favored We Miss Artie (BetPTC.com Top Selection) sat back and reared at the start and was a good ten lengths behind down the backstretch. Asserting Bear brought the field into the stretch but Lexie Lou came roaring from out of the pack and blew to the lead and edged away late to win by a length and a half. Ami’s Holiday flew from the back to get up for second while Asserting Bear held third.
Main Sequence last to first to win the United Nations
Main Sequence passed each of his eight rivals on Sunday as he and Rajiv Maragh catapulted to a neck victory in the $500,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park. Sent off at odds of 8/1, Main Sequence was ninth early on as Side Glance set the pace. Side Glance was able to really slow the field down as they ran down the backstretch, getting through three quarters in 1:14.64 seconds. Side Glance was confronted at the top of the lane by Twilight Eclipse (BetPTC.com Longshot) who grabbed the lead and had the lead until the final strides, when Main Sequence came blowing by to win by a neck. Twilight Eclipse was second with Side Glance finishing up in third. In the Grade 3 Salvator Mile it was all Itsmyluckyday who rallied from off the pace to win with ease. Itsmyluckyday sat back in third in the garden spot as Bradester (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and Valid (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) battled for much of the race. Itsmyluckyday came up to make a line of three with them at the top of the lane, but he blew that pair away late, winning by a length and a half. Bradester finished second with Valid in third.