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Greenpointcrusader walks down Victory Lane after winning the Champagne.
Belmont Park hosted 6 graded stakes on Saturday afternoon, two of which are Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualifiers in the 2-year-old dirt divisions. Heavy rain overnight downgraded the main track to sloppy and the turf to soft, and dark clouds hung overhead with temperatures in the mid 50's at the Long Island oval.
Greenpointcrusader rallies down the stretch
Jockey Cornelio Velazquez sent Tale of S'avall to the lead exiting the chute and he set fractions of 23.59, 46.78, and 1:10.94 while pressed by Ralis and stalked by 23-1 Sunny Ridge. At the 3/16 pole Ralis tired and dropped from contention as Sunny Ridge gained the lead at the 3/16 pole. However, 13-2 Greenpointcrusader, 6th early, came out 7 wide for room and powered through to win going away by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:36.25. It was another 2 lengths back to 12-1 Portfolio Manager third, while favorite Ralis was 6th.
Check out the other races on the card: The Jockey Club Gold Cup and The Flower Bowl and Kelso Handicap.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Greenpointcrusader Bravo 15.00 7.30 4.80 8 Sunny Ridge Alvarado 16.20 9.20 9 Portfolio Manager Ortiz Jr. 7.20 Winning Time: 1:36.25 $2 Exacta 2-8 214.00 $2 Trifecta 2-8-9 1,612.00 $2 Superfecta 2-8-9-4 11,715.00Results Chart
Left: Greenpointcrusader in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Dominick Schettino said, "He was training good up to the race. His first two races, even though he won, he had tight trips down inside. We talked about the track, being inside, I basically left it up to Joe. He got a little shuffled back at the break and the rest was up to Joe."
Right: Greenpointcrusader heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Joe Bravo said, ""This horse really didn't have the clearest of races in his first two starts. He's a big horse and he needs a clear shot. He recovered [from the break] so well and was so comfortable on the backside, he gave me confidence when we turned for home that he was going to kick."
Left: Second place finisher Sunny Ridge in the paddock before the race.
Right: Third place finisher Portfolio Manager returns after the race.
Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Ralis. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, "Yeah, it's a head scratcher. We just have to go over him real good when we get back to the barn and figure it out. He just didn't seem to fire today and maybe because of the track but not sure though."
Nickname leads down the stretch
Jockey Junior Alvarado sent She's All Ready to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 22.78, 46.10, and 1:10.93 over the sloppy track while pressed by Nickname and stlkedby Width. At the top of the lane, Nickname came out 4 wide for room and powered by the pacesetter, and drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths over late-running 13-2 Nemoralia in 1:37.76. It was another 1 1/4 length back to favorite She's All Ready third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Nickname Castellano 12.80 5.70 3.90 3 Nemoralia Rosario 8.70 5.00 1 She's All Ready Alvarado 3.10 Winning Time: 1:37.76 $2 Exacta 5-3 75.50 $2 Trifecta 5-3-1 211.50 $2 Superfecta 5-3-1-2 481.50Results Chart
Left: Nickname takes her walk down Victory Lane. Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "When this filly walked out of the barn, it was hard to believe she was one of the 2-year-olds. She just had that look and that feel about her from that moment. For things to come together so nice for our stable, the Roths, Alex and Jason - from thinking and looking at her and hoping to being in the position we are today, a Grade 1 winner of a race of the caliber of the Frizette, is wonderful. I do know the last time we won the Frizette it was with My Miss Aurelia, who went on and won the Juvenile Fillies."
Right: Nickname in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I tried to find my best shot, do the best thing for the horse and find the best way to get there. I knew they went pretty quick and then picked it up. I didn't want keep pushing and get caught in the pace. At the same time, I could see those two horses on the outside too (Width and Nemoralia), so I had to move a little bit. She did really well, nice horse."
Left: Second place finisher Nemoralia returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "Good trip, perfect trip. I put her in stalking position, that's what we wanted to do. She ran nicely and kicked it in at the end. The horse that won was probably the best today. How the track is, they kind of gallop at one pace. The horse that won was in front of me in a good spot the whole way, but my horse ran great."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite She's All Ready in the paddock before the race. Trainer Jim Ryerson said, "I thought she ran great. She went well in the first going and then you wonder how far she wants to go and in [that type of] company, too. Those things enter into it when you think about the race. I would reserve judgment on entering her into a Breeders' Cup race but I think it would be a little challenging."
Takeover Target wins the Hill Prince Stakes
Jockey Eric Cancel sent 23-1 Vision Perfect to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 25.18, 50.82, and 1:15.20 over the very soft course while pressed by 21-1 Winter Springs and stalked by 11-1 Jay Gatsby. Entering the stretch, Vision Perfect continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:39.05, but Takeover Target, 5th early, came out 3 wide for room and rallied by to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:51.42. It was a long 3 lengths back to 18-1 Great Dancer third while favorite Tale of Life was 8th.
Left: Takeover Target in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "It all worked out well. I thought Jose rode a terrific race. He really gave him a beautiful trip and the horse responded. He's a really quality horse. The first time we ran him he ran well over yielding ground right here at Belmont, so we were confident he'd be able to handle it."
Right: Takeover Target returns after the race. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "My horse broke good and I went right to the rail at the first turn. I tried to save every inch of ground, and it worked out great. The trip worked out great and getting to the quarter-pole I got the opportunity to come out and it worked out perfect. He couldn't be better."
Left: Second place finisher Vision Perfect heads out for the post parade.
Right: Third place finisher Great Dancer in the paddock before the race.
Eighth place finisher and beaten favorite Tale of Life returns after the race.
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