Longines Just a Game Stakes (Grade 1)
JOSE Ortiz rode Jack Christopher and also rode the Chad Brown-trained Regal Glory to victory in the Grade 1 Just a Game.
Owned by Peter Brant, Regal Glory improved to three-for-three in 2022 with a three-and-a-half-length victory over the Irish-bred Power filly Wakanaka with the Brown-trained English-bred Dubawi filly In Italian third.
New York Stakes (Grade 1)
PETER Brant and Chad Brown celebrated another unbeaten filly winning a Grade 1 stakes the day before when Bleecker Street and Irad Ortiz scored a mild upset in the one and a quarter-mile New York Stakes going 10 furlongs on the grass.
Bleecker Street, unbeaten in seven starts, won by a half-length over Family Way, with Irish-bred Flighty Lady third and odds-on favourite Rougir fifth of six.
leads all the way
Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (Grade 1)
CHAD Brown didn’t send out a starter in the Belmont Stakes but came away with a victory in the race before the main event when Tribhuvan led all the way under Manny Franco to take the $750,000 Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan at 10 furlongs on the grass.
Sent off at 19/1, the French-bred son of Tornado added the Manhattan to his victory in last year’s Grade 1 United Nations and also triggered a Brown-trained exacta that paid $94.75 for a $1 bet with a three-and-a-half-length victory over the Irish-bred Adhamo.
Racing ‘royalty’ Clairiere holds on by a head
Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade 1)
STEVE Asmussen, Brad Cox and Bill Mott, who rank a respective first, fourth and sixth on North America’s list of leading trainers by earnings, came away with a Grade 1 victory apiece on Belmont day.
Asmussen, who looked to have a big chance for a pair until champion Echo Zulu was scratched at the gate before the Grade 1 Acorn, made amends when Stonestreet Stables’ homebred Clairiere ran down Malathaat and Search Results (trained by the third- and second-ranked trainers coincidentally in Pletcher and Brown) in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps.
Clairiere, a daughter of Curlin and 2016 Phipps winner Cavorting, won by a head over Malathaat with Search Results third and odds-on favourite and champion Letruska a distant fifth after being cooked in an early speed duel.
“It was heart, soul and guts, absolutely,” Asmussen said. “What can you say about her? She is racing royalty by Curlin out of Cavorting. The race she put together was beautiful.
“It’s extra special that she’s a daughter of Curlin. I’m getting ridiculously sentimental about her being by him and everything he did to allow us another opportunity. When you’re the one chosen to train a Curlin out of Cavorting, life is good.”
Super sharp Matareya makes the top grade
Acorn Stakes (Grade 1)
BRAD Cox and Godolphin opened the stakes portion of the Belmont day card with a victory by Matareya in the Acorn.
The homebred daughter of Pioneerof The Nile led all the way under Prat and cruised to a six-and-a-quarter-length score from Divine Huntress for her fourth win in as many starts in 2022.
“I was pretty much going to ride her the same with or without the scratch (of Echo Zulu),” Prat said. “She broke super, super sharp and got me right to the lead and she was cruising all the way around.
“She’s always been a high hope in the barn and just needs that one turn.”
Casa Creed returns for another Jaipur
Jaipur Stakes (Grade 1)
THE Bill Mott-trained Casa Creed showed his fondness for the one turn of Belmont’s Widener Turf Course with his second straight victory in the Grade 1 Jaipur going six furlongs.
A six-year-old son of Jimmy Creed co-owned by longtime popular New York radio personality Mike Francesa and Lee Einsidler, CEO of George Clooney’s Casamigos Spirits, Casa Creed ran down Arrest Me Red and Irish-bred True Valour in the lane to win in 1:07.44.
He hadn’t been out since finishing fifth in the Al Quoz Sprint on March 26th at Meydan in Dubai.
“It’s great to get back-to-back wins in the Jaipur,” Mott said.
“He’s a real warrior who’s gotten better with age. We finally found out what he wants to do - run in the Jaipur every year.”