October 21, 2021

Diversify a romping winner of the Suburban

Diversify was a romping winner of the Suburban (Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Diversify made it six wins from eight starts at Belmont Park when routing nine rivals in the $700,000 Suburban (G2) on Saturday.

Under Irad Ortiz Jr., the 6-1 chance set a fast, uncontested pace of :23.47, :46.18, 1:09.65, and 1:34, but had plenty left in the tank to widen his margin in the final quarter-mile to 6 1/2 lengths at the wire. The final time over a fast track was 1:59.84.

“My plan was to break and go,” Ortiz said. “I broke good, I sent him, and he took me the whole way. He was traveling perfect. I just went from there and started moving and he responded very well. He went fast, and he gave me another gear at the quarter pole.”

Longshots rounded out the top three with The Lieutenant, an older half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify, finishing second at odds of 34-1. He had two lengths on 41-1 outsider Discreet Lover, who was 1 1/4 length in front of Hoppertunity. Tapwrit, the 2017 Belmont S. (G1) winner sent off as the 3-1 favorite, was fifth.

Owned by Ralph Evans and Lauren Evans, Diversify paid $14. He’s trained by Rick Violette.

“He did it pretty comfortably. I think this is his best race ever,” Violette said. “He beat some nice horses, withstood some serious pressure, fast fractions and he obviously loves Belmont.

“We have five weeks to the Whitney (G1) off his lifetime best I think. There’s also the Woodward (G1) four weeks later in the meet. We’ll think about the fall as well. We would love to do the Whitney, but we’ll see how he comes back from this effort.”

This was the second top-level win for the New York-bred Diversify, who landed the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last October over the same track and distance. He had preceded that score with back-to-back state-bred stakes wins in the $100,000 Saginaw at Belmont and the $95,000 Evan Shipman at Saratoga.

Diversify was beaten as the favorite in his two starts following the Gold Cup, running fourth in the Clark H. (G1) and last of seven in the April 21 Charles Town Classic (G1) in his season debut. He bounced back, however, in the $200,000 Commentator for state-breds on Memorial Day, winning by a nose in a race he had lost by the same margin 12 months earlier. His record now stands at 14-9-2-0, $1,309,425.

Diversify is a five-year-old gelded son of Bellamy Road and Rule One, a Street Cry half-sister to Grade 3 winner Lady Digby. He was bred by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding.