October 3, 2010

In a New York State of Mind

What a day. Good horses, great times, and better people. Sincere thanks to all of you that made my homecoming to Belmont an unforgettable day. A man with friends is a rich man, and yesterday I felt like a billionaire.

As far as the equine stars, there was no doubt that Haynesfield stole the show. Touted to us by Sam the Bugler, the lone New York-bred in the field made every pole a winning one in the prestigious Jockey Club Gold Cup. The days headliner, on a day with five grade 1 stakes, was dominated by the four-year-old son of Speightstown. Under a heady ride by Ramon Dominguez, Haynesfield was allowed to relax on an uncontested lead, while setting early fractions that were slower than expected. Opening up by as much as seven lengths early in the stretch, he proved long gone from the rest, including heavily favored Blame. Sent off at 7-1, Haynesfield improved his lifetime record to a sparkling 9 for 13. At the wire, he was under wraps, and four lengths ahead of Blame, the 4-5 favorite, who had his five race win streak snapped. Haynesfield, proving he enjoys Belmont as much as I do, is now a whisker away from being perfect in six starts at Big Sandy.

In the day’s other big events, it was the Flower Bowl that proved to be the most exciting. English import Ave was able to split horses in deep stretch, and power to a narrow victory over Changing Skies and Red Desire. It was the first victory in America for the Roger Attfield trained miss, and announces her as a real threat for next month’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Also impressive on Belmont’s yielding turf course yesterday was Winchester. The early trailer in the nine-horse field, he uncorked a furious rally that carried him by the game favorite Paddy O'Prado who had made what looked like a winning move on the turn. The win in the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was Winchester’s second grade 1 victory on big days at Belmont this year, as he had earlier accounted for the Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes day.

As a 2-1 favorite, I was not willing to place my money on Girolamo, who had never before run the distance of six furlongs. The sprint trip proved to be no problem, as the four-year-old son of A.P. Indy showed the rest of the field both his class and his heels in powering his way to an easy score in the Vosburgh Invitational. In the Grade 1 Beldame, Life At Ten, returned to her winning ways with a rather easy two length tally. Clearly enjoying no Rachel Alexandra to deal with, she won her fifth stakes race of the year in only six starts, and now will head to the Breeders’ Cup as one of the horses to beat in the Ladies Classic.


Unknown said...

Weather: clear
Track: fast
Start: Good for all
Split times:24:11, 24:50, 23:82, 24:50

I dont get it..
Haynesfield ran moderate times and he still aired. Noone could catch him.
That was one of the wierdest races I've ever seen.

Brian Appleton said...

That was some fantastic racing at Belmont! I was most disappointed with Paddy O'Prado's loss but Haynesfield ran an incredible race. He really looks like a legitimate Breeders' Cup Classic contender.

Life At Ten was back to her old self! Didn't you love the way she took the lead and just kind of waltzed home after that? It's going to be a very fun and competitive Ladies Classic with her Blind Luck and Havre de Grace all running, not to mention a bunch of others.

william said...

a great day of racing....haynesfield looked great along with all the other winners...brian thanks for joining us hope you had an enjoyable day!

Brian Zipse said...

I think that moderate pace had a lot to do with Haynesfield's easy win, Jane. Paddy ran a big race in defeat I thought, Brian. Thank you William, it was a great time!

NetworkEmpowerment said...

Great weekend, even though the BC picture kinda got flipped on it's head and shanken around a bit.