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Wedding Toast takes her walk down Victory Lane after the Beldame.
Also on the card: Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Vosburgh, and Pilgrim Stakes
The $400,000 Beldame Stakes (G1) features older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles around one turn of the main track at Belmont Park. Conditions were excellent on Long Island with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's. Ruffian (G2) and Ogden Phipps (G1) winner Wedding Toast was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 6. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Curalina, 3rd in the Alabama (G1) after winning the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) via disqualification, and 7-1 third choice Catch My Drift, winner of the Summer Colony.
Wedding Toast draws off in the stretch
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Wedding Toast Lezcano 3.30 2.10 2.10 1 Curalina Velazquez 3.10 2.30 4 Catch My Drift Ortiz Jr. 2.80 Winning Time: 1:47.67 $2 Exacta 2-1 8.60 $2 Trifecta 2-1-4 23.40 $2 Superfecta 2-1-4-5 102.00Results Chart
Left: Wedding Toast in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin (far left) said, "She just had a little foot issue and we had to skip the Personal Ensign and then, thinking about it, we thought this was a better spot anyway because she loves the one turn. As good form as she's in, she'll be able to handle two turns (Distaff). But this race was here and it's a Grade 1, so it worked out well. I asked Jose not to give her a hard race if he didn't have to because she looked that good on paper. We have a big race in five weeks. Couldn't have asked for better, it really went perfect."
Right: Wedding Toast heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Jose Lezcano said, "She broke good and I let her go at her own pace. When I asked her in the stretch, she went on and did it easy. I never touched her with the whip or anything."
Left: Second place finisher Curalina returns after the race. The 5-2 second choice stalked the pace in third under John Velazquez but could not close the gap, finishing second beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $806,800 for owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
Right: Third place finisher Catch My Drift in the post parade. The 7-1 third choice sat fifth 5 lengths off the pace under Irad Ortiz Jr. then passed tired horses to get third beaten 7 3/4 lengths. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 thirds in 10 starts, earning $280,540 for owner Hidden Brook Farm.
Jockey Jose Ortiz sent La Verdad to the lead and she set fractions of 22.76 and 45.04 while pressed by Room for Me and stalked by Dame Dorothy. Entering the stretch La Verdad opened up a 2 length lead through 3/4 in 1:08.78, and was all out to hold off late-running 11-1 Wavell Avenue to win by 1/2 a length in 1:15.16. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Dame Dorothy third.
Left: La Verdad in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Linda Rice said, "I thought she broke just a tip flat-footed today. She's usually much quicker away from there, but she hadn't run in a while. I've had to work hard to get her here and we lost some time, but I think this race will do her a lot of good. She'll move forward and will be harder to beat next time."
Right: La Verdad heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "She broke well. She took the lead easy. I had a little pressure from the outside, but after that she settled down and she was fine."
Left: Second place finisher Wavell Avenue in the paddock before the race. The 11-1 shot raced 5th 4 lengths off the pace under Joel Rosario then rallied to get second beaten 1/2 a length. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earnng $303,725 for owners Michael Dubb, David Simon, and Bethlehem Stables.
Right: Third place finisher Dame Dorothy in the paddock before the race. The 5-1 second choice stalked the pace in third 2 lengths off the pace under John Velazquez but could not improve finishing third beaten 2 lengths. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 7 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $749,740 for owner Bobby Flay.
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