May 26, 2024

Wow Cat rolls in Beldame, Disco Partner repeats in Belmont Turf Sprint

Wow Cat and jockey Jose Ortiz run away with the Beldame Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on October 6, 2018 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

After futilely chasing division stars Abel Tasman and Elate in the August 25 Personal Ensign (G1), Wow Cat found a field she could handle in Saturday’s $400,000 Beldame (G1) at Belmont Park.

The 13-10 favorite versus seven rivals, Wow Cat rated in fourth early, bid for the lead approaching the six-furlong mark, and opened up on the field in the lane to win going away by 3 1/4 lengths under Jose Ortiz. She covered nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.75.

Owned by Peter Brant and Vendaval Inc., the Chad Brown trainee paid $4.60. Divine Miss Grey edged Verve’s Tale for second by a half-length.

A star in her native Chile, where she was a multiple Group 1 winner up to 1 3/8 miles, Wow Cat had finished second by a neck to Beldame trailer Farrell in the Shuvee (G3) and then was 10 lengths third behind the winning Abel Tasman in the Personal Ensign.

“It takes your breath away just looking at her, physically,” Brown said. “We can’t take any credit for the way she looks; she arrived this way.

“It took a while for her to acclimate. She was training really well heading into Saratoga. Not only did some extra time help her, I don’t think she really cared that much for Saratoga, in hindsight. She never trained great once I got her up there. She trained OK. She got beat 10 lengths last time by two really good fillies, but I didn’t think the gap should be 10 lengths.

“She’s really a top-class horse. She came to us undefeated. She’s legit.”

Disco Partner romps home an easy winner of the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. at Belmont Park on October 6, 2018 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography

In the $151,500 Belmont Turf Sprint, Disco Partner defended his title with a 4 1/2-length thrashing of five rivals, including pace-setting stablemate and 2016 race winner Pure Sensation, who weakened to third in the six-furlong inner turf test.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for owner Patricia Generazio and trainer Christophe Clement, Disco Partner paid $4.40 after covering the course in 1:08.50 as the 11-10 favorite. Blind Ambition rallied for second, a half-length ahead of Pure Sensation.

Disco Partner has proven hard to beat over six panels on the Belmont turf, also taking the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Jaipur (G2). A half-length third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), the gray six-year-old by Disco Rico was exiting back-to-back losses over a mile at Belmont and over 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga.

“As long as he comes back in good shape, we’ll get him ready for the Breeders’ Cup,” Clement said. “I don’t like to have too hard of a race before the Breeders’ Cup, so I was very happy with the performance today.”

Have At It and jockey David Cohen score in the Hill Prince Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on October 6, 2018 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

The graded race at Belmont Saturday with the least apparent Breeders’ Cup implications, the $500,000 Hill Prince (G3) for three-year-olds on the grass, went to Have At It in an 11-1 upset as 2-5 favorite Raging Bull was figuratively knocked out and finished fifth.

Ridden by David Cohen, Have At It wore down pacesetting 23-1 chance Sand Dancer to win by a length in a time of 1:50.52. Owned by Robert Evans and trained by Christophe Clement, the son of Kitten’s Joy paid $24.20. Another double-digit longshot, Prioritize, finished a head behind Sand Dancer in third.

This was the first stakes win for Have At It, who previously finished sixth to Raging Bull in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) and second by a neck in the restricted $100,000 Better Talk Now, both at Saratoga.