By the Moon, Rajiv Maragh up, shown winning the
Bed O’ Roses at Belmont Park. JOE LABOZZETTA
By John Manley
Brendan Walsh will be returning to the drawing board where Multiplier, the 3-year-old colt he trains, is concerned. Multiplier was a nonfactor in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the last of 10 finishers, with only Hollywood Handsome, the colt that was pulled up after his rider lost the irons, behind him.
Multiplier, ridden by Joel Rosario, settled near the back of the pack in the early stages of this 12-furlong classic, moved up to more of a stalking position nearing the far turn, and then flattened out while widest of all as the field straightened for home. At 14-1, he was the second-longest price on the board.
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The Friday card at Belmont Park ended with something of an Irish pick-3 as Irish-breds won two graded stakes races, followed by Michelle Nevin sending out By the Moon to a graded stakes score.
Lael Stable’s Hawksmoor, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly, won the New York, a 10-furlong Grade 2 event. She went to the lead out of the gate and stayed there, Julien Leparoux getting her to the wire a length in front. Despite winning the Grade 3 Beaugay at Belmont last month, she returned $25.40 to win. Arnaud Delacour trains Hawksmoor.
The Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, a Grade 3 at two miles over the turf, went to Australian Bloodstock’s Red Cardinal, a 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding trained by Andreas Wohler and ridden by Eduardo Pedroza. The winner raced in midpack early, got the jump on the sprint to home and held off the nearest challenger by a neck. He paid $7.60 to win as the favorite.
Willie Mullins sent over a pair from Ireland, but fourth money was the best he could get with Wicklow Brave, the 7-2 second choice that finished two lengths behind Red Cardinal. Mullins’ Clondaw Warrior, sent off at 15-1, got 10th place in the 12-horse field.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s By the Moon then won the Grade 3 Bed O’ Roses for the second straight year, digging down to triumph by three-quarters of a length with Rajiv Maragh in the saddle. The Nevin trainee is now 4-for-5 at Belmont Park and 2-for 11 elsewhere. The 5-year-old homebred mare was the heavy favorite against eight rivals and returned $4.50 to win.
Hawksmoor, 2nd from right, Julien Leparoux up, shown
winning the New York at Belmont Park.
CANNON’S ARGENTINE FLING
Dona Bruja, a 5-year-old Argentine mare owned by Dom Felipe LLC, made an impressive North American debut with Declan Cannon along for the ride in Saturday’s Mint Julep Handicap, a Grade 3 feature on the lawn at Churchill Downs. A winner of eight races from 10 starts in her native land, most recently a Grade 1 in December, the mare sat off the early pace and was quick to respond when Cannon gave her some slack in the reins straightening for home. Ignacio Correas IV trains Dona Bruja, which paid $13.40 to win, a tidy sum that might be unattainable to the public in her future races if the Louisville showing was a true bill.
FAST START FOR MAGEE
Kieron Magee got out of the gate quickly at the Laurel summer meet with five wins over the first two days. His Harbor Breeze, a 9-year-old gelding now in his second tour of duty with this string, reversed some dire form in Friday’s fourth race, a nickel claiming route on the main track, rallying under Edwin Gonzalez to draw off by four lengths. The win mutuel came back $6.00.
A half hour later, Magee’s Billy the Bull reasserted his dominance over the local turf claimers, bossing a field at the $20,000 plateau by two lengths, with Angel Serpa at the controls. The 7-year-old gelding by the recently deceased Holy Bull is now 14-for-32 lifetime and 12-for-20 on grass. The win mutuel came back $4.80.
Saturday’s Magee trifecta began in the second race, when Gumpster Stable’s Miss Swisher rallied to a six-length triumph under Julian Pimentel. The 4-year-old filly dropped a peg down the claiming ladder to the $10,000 tier, which factored mightily in her $2.80 win mutuel. She moved on to the barn of trainer Jonathan Maldonado via the claim box.
Then, in the sixth race, Jevian Toledo got Helen Marshall’s Mr. October up in time for a three-quarters length triumph in a starter/optional claiming sprint on the lawn. This is the 3-year-old gelding’s first win in three tries for Magee since he was claimed in September of last year. He was good for $12.20 on a $2 win ticket.
Red Cardinal, Eduardo Pedroza up, shown winning
the Belmont Gold Cup at Belmont Park. VIOLA JASKO
The ninth race saw Magee get his fifth win when Love You Back, a 4-year-old filly he owns in partnership with Ralph Gales, Jr., won first time off the claim in a main track mile at the $10,000 claiming level. Pimentel had the mount and delivered her to the wire six lengths in front of the nearest pursuer. She returned $6.40 to win.
Magee didn’t limit his winning touch to Maryland. He also picked up wins in Pennsylvania, scoring at Parx on Tuesday with Sheffield Stable’s Line of Best Fit in an allowance/optional claiming route on the main track that returned $15.00 to win, and then on Saturday in Penn National’s fifth race, a maiden special weight sprint, with Angela Coombs’ Shackle Me Good, a 3-year-old filly making her second start since a transfer to Magee’s string. The filly established an early lead and lengthened that to nine lengths at the wire under A.R. Rodriguez. She paid $3.80 to win.
Mike Doyle and David Moran combined to close out the Friday card at Woodbine with something of a bang when George Hendrie’s Sonnet Boom lasted to break his maiden by one-half length. The 4-year-old gelding was last of 12 in his debut last month, but was a different animal in this grass route, pressing the early pace, and then opening up by four lengths at the top of the lane, with just enough juice in him to stave off a rallier. He paid $32.80 to win.
Eoin Harty finds Presque Isle Downs a suitable venue for some of his less-fancied stock. He sent out Gainesway Stable’s Gain Ground to win Monday’s first race, a maiden special weight sprint. The first-time starter rallied and then toughed out a stretch duel to get up by a head under Pablo Morales. The 3-year-old colt by Tapit paid $5.40 to win. Thursday’s sixth race there found Harty and Morales reunited in the winner’s circle after Andrew Rosen’s Creative Director justified her 2-5 odds against a field of maidens running a mile. The 4-year-old filly was three-quarters of a length the best and paid $2.80 to win.
John Manley’s Racing Roundup appears each week in the print and digital editions of the Irish Echo.