Reigning champion sprinter Elite Power ran his current win streak to seven races, and his unbeaten stakes mark to four, with a solid-looking 1 3/4-length tally in the $250,000 True North (G2) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Making his first start since a dazzling 3 1/4-length display over Gunite in the Feb. 25 Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3) in Saudi Arabia, Elite Power rated in fourth as Today’s Flavor set a modest tempo of :23.25 and :46.12 in the 6 1/2-furlong journey. Bidding into contention turning for home, Elite Power opened up a sizable lead approaching the eighth pole and was hand-ridden late to score over 12-1 chance Anarchist. Second choice Strobe, who traveled in second through the opening half-mile, weakened to third and was followed by Today’s Flavor, Fearless, and Synthesis.
Owned by Juddmonte and trained by Bill Mott, Elite Power finished up in 1:15.65 over a fast track and returned $3.50.
“He’s such a nice and exciting horse,” winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “He broke well in the clear and put me in a perfect spot. He was close enough to run them down. I just left him there and when I asked him, he responded right away.”
A five-year-old chestnut son of Curlin, Elite Power has won all of his stakes appearances dating back to October, when late-season tallies in the Vosburgh (G2) at Aqueduct and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland secured Eclipse Award honors. Mott suggested the champion might reappear in the July 29 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) at Saratoga over six furlongs.
Bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables, Elite Power was reared by the Grade 2-winning Broadway’s Alibi, a Vindication half-sister to Grade 3 winner Golden Lad. This is also the family of Grade 1 winner and sire Dialed In, while Elite Power’s fourth dam was 1992 champion juvenile filly Eliza.
Sold as a $900,000 Keeneland September yearling, Elite Power has now seven of 10 starts with earnings of more than $2.44 million