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Shanghai Bobby and Rosie Napravnik walk down Victory Lane after the Champagne.
Belmont Park hosted three Grade 1 events on Saturday afternoon before just 5,281 fans under overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 70's, two of which are Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualifiers in the 2-year-old dirt divisions.
Shanghai Bobby draws off in the stretch
Jockey Kevin Krigger sent Goldencents to the front exiting the chute and he set fractions of 23.55 and 47.45 while pressed by Shanghai Bobby to his outside. Entering the stretch, Shanghai Bobby eased up to take over the lead through 3/4 in 1:11.21, then drew off under a hand ride to win by 5 lengths in 1:35.55 over the fast track. It was a length back to 6-1 Fortify third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Shanghai Bobby Napravnik 5.30 2.90 2.10 1 Goldencents Krigger 5.40 3.20 5 Fortify Dominguez 3.20 Winning Time: 1:35.55 $2 Exacta 2-1 26.00 $2 Trifecta 2-1-5 79.00 $2 Superfecta 2-1-5-4 198.00Results Chart Past winners of the Champagne
Left: Shanghai Bobby in the winner's circle. Winning owner Jack Wolf said, "That was fun! When I saw we drew the No. 2 [post] I wasn't too excited, especially with the speed inside, but it actually worked out well for us. This was such a great field. You could make a case for any of the horses in here and I'm very proud of the way he performed against this bunch. We'll talk to Todd (about the Breeders' Cup) and see how the horse comes out."
Shanghai Bobby circles after the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "He's shown the adaptability to stalk, and yet he has tactical speed to keep pressure on someone, keeping them from getting loose. He's tenacious. He has all of the tools. The one thing we felt Shanghai Bobby had going for him coming into the race was seasoning. Those three starts, sometimes, are really important."
Left: Shanghai Bobby in the post parade. Jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "Bobby was on his game today. He broke real sharp and we sat real comfortable outside of (Goldencents). He was taking me to the lead before I wanted to go, but he was full of it and did it as easy as could be. He's just gotten better and more mature with every start and I think he's just going to continue to grow and exceed our expectations."
Right: Shanghai Bobby returns to the barn after the race.
Left: Second place finisher Goldencents in the paddock before the race. The 7-2 third choice set the early pace but was no match for the winner. The Doug O'Neill trainee improved his record to 1 win and 1 second in 2 starts, earning $122,000 for owners W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney, and RAP Racing.
Right: Third place finisher Fortify in the post parade. The 6-1 fifth choice raced in third under jockey Ramon Dominguez and could not improve late, holding third beaten 6 lengths. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $148,000 for owner Godolphin Racing.
Dreaming of Julia and My Happy Face duel in the stretch
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent My Happy Face to the lead through fractions of 23.22 and 46.19 while pressed by Dreaming of Julia a length behind, while as many as 10 lengths ahead of the two longshots. Entering the stretch, Dreaming of Julia moved up to challenge, getting 3/4 in 1:10.46 and setting up a duel to the line. The pair battled over the final 1/4 mile with Dreaming of Julia prevailing by a head in 1:37.10. It was a long 10 3/4 lengths back to Toastinhg third, while Nancy O trailed throughout and was eased.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Dreaming of Julia Velazquez 2.30 2.10 - 2 My Happy Face Dominguez 2.20 - 1 Toasting Castro - Winning Time: 1:37.10 $2 Exacta 7-2 3.90Results Chart Past winners of the Frizette
Left: Dreaming of Julia takes her walk down Victory Lane. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "We knew that (My Happy Face) was very talented. You're talking about two fillies that have won their last couple of races by a long way. They were running into a headwind down the backside and it was pretty fast fractions. With the track is starting to dry out a little bit and with the long wait (at the starting gate), it was demanding. I think with the scratches, on paper, it turned into a virtual match race. Most match races, the speed horse has the edge, so we had to kind of take it to her a little bit. We hope (to run in The Breeders' Cup); we were looking at today as a prep, so we hope she comes out of it well."
Right: Dreaming of Julia in the winner's circle.
Left: Dreaming of Julia in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "Not as easy as the last two, not at all. The other filly is a nice filly, she won (her last race) by 21 lengths. I had to put pressure on her the whole way around to make it a match race and it ended up being a match race, anyway. But she's gutsy, that's what she is. The scratches changed the race; it went from being a lot of speed to me having to do the dirty job and not let (My Happy Face) get away."
Right: Dreaming of Julia with trainer Todd Pletcher after the race.
Left: Second place finisher My Happy Face returns after the race. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said, "She ran very, very good. She got the worst part of the track, and Johnny's filly got a perfect trip. But she ran very, very good." Jockey Ramon Dominguez added, "She ran hard, just a head short from winning, but she did everything right. I would have liked my chances if (My Happy Face drew an outside post). It was tight along the inside; there wasn't much room to work with, but I can't take anything away from the winner, either. No regrets."
Right: Third place finisher Toasting in the paddock. The 21-1 longest shot sat third under jockey Eddie Castro and could not gain on the lead pair, finishing third beaten 10 3/4 lengths. The Tom Albertrani trainee improved her record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 4 starts, earning $95,800 for owner West Point Thoroughbreds.
King David runs down King Kreesa in the Jamaica Handicap
Jockey Eddie Castro sent 24-1 King Kreesa to a clear lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 25.89, 52.29 over the good course while stalked by 4-1 fourth choice Howe Great and 28-1 King David. King Kreesa continued to lead to mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:41.35, but King David closed in the final furlong to win by 1/2 a length in 1:52.91. It was another 3/4 length back to Summer Front third, while favorite Dullahan checked in fifth.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 King David Nakatani 58.00 18.80 6.70 8 King Kreesa Velazquez 21.20 8.00 5 Summer Front Garcia 3.30 Winning Time: 1:52.91 $2 Exacta 2-8 370.00 $2 Trifecta 2-8-5 1,865.00 $2 Superfecta 2-8-5-4 9,341.00Results Chart Past winners of the Jamaica
Left: King David walks down Victory Lane. Pearl Hagadorn, assistant to trainer Mike Maker said, "Mike saw this horse at Saratoga, and lost a shake (to claim him) there, so he claimed him at Belmont. He looks for an athlete that he thinks can improve with his program, and he's brilliant at it. And then, Rosie put up a great ride."
Right: King David in the winner's circle. Jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "I assumed I probably would get a stalking trip, and we sat in a great spot. I was able to save ground on the first turn. The turf is a little bit soft, so I took him to the outside. He just put in a very game effort. He's a horse I've been on a few times on the morning, and I always loved the way he went. He has a great demeanor, and he tried as much as he could."
Left: King David gets a pat from jockey Rosie Napravnik after the race. Napravnik said, "King David is a horse I breezed in Saratoga under a different trainer. Mike does such a good job with horses that he claims, and this is just a very good example. This horse ran awesome."
Right: Second place finisher King Kreesa in the post parade. Jockey Eddie Castro said, "I had a good trip. I got to the front easy. (Trainer Jeremiah Englehart) told me, 'Be close to the lead and try the best you can.' And that's what we did."
Left: Third place finisher Summer Front returns after the race. The 5-2 second choice raced fourth under jockey Ramon Dominguez, then rallied late to get third beaten 1 1/4 lengths. The Christophe Clement trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $405,800 for owner Waterford Stable.
Right: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Dullahan heads out of the paddock. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "It looked to me like he had a little hard time (with the ground). He was fine early, and when I rode him he tried to pick it up, but maybe it's a little slippery."
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