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Alexander Tango heads back to the barn after winning the Garden City Breeders' Cup
The $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup (G1) is one of three Grade 1 events run on the opening Saturday of the Fall Championship Meeting at Belmont Park in New York. A field of ten 3-year-old fillies contested this 1 1/8 mile trip over the firm inner turf course, with Christophe Clement trainee Rutherienne sent off as the 8-5 favorite, coming off wins in the Lake George at Saratoga and then the Del Mar Oaks in California. In to challenge the Virginia Kraft Payson homebred were 5-1 second choice Valbenny, second in both the Del Mar Oaks and the American Oaks, and 6-1 third choice Alexander Tango, shipping in from Ireland where she was second in the Royal Whip at the Curragh in her last start.
The cavalry charge down the stretch with eventual winner Alexander Tango on the outside.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Alexander Tango Bridgmohan 13.60 8.90 5.60 5 Bit of Whimsey Castellano 13.00 6.60 2 Sharp Susan Desormeaux 5.70 Winning Time: 1:48.97 $2 Exacta 7-5 231.00 $2 Trifecta 7-5-2 1,671.00 $2 Superfecta 7-5-2-4 15,990.00
Alexander Tango takes her walk down Victory Lane. Her jockey Shaun Bridgmohan said, "My filly was very relaxed. She's used to those kinds of races in Europe, where they go slow and pick it up late. I was very confident at the eighth-pole. Once she got daylight, she just picked it up and ran home."
Alexander Tango in the winner's circle. James Stack, son of and assistant to winning trainer Tommy Stack said, "Ideally, we wanted to be mid-pack early. We thought she would be well-suited for American racing, because she runs best with a good pace in front of her. I thought we were done on the backstretch; the pace was slow and she was farther back than I thought she would be."
Alexander Tango returns after the race. Assistant trainer James Stack said, "We wanted to go with a local rider because she got in light and some of the European riders would have had trouble making weight. She'll stay here for the Flower Bowl."
Second place finisher Bit Of Whimsy heads out of the paddock for the post parade. Her jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a lot of horse turning for home. She gave me everything she had. The winner was just much the best, but I was very proud of my horse."
Third place finisher Sharp Susan returns after the race. 7-1 fourth choice Sharp Susan came into the Garden City off a win in the Lake Placid at Saratoga. She prompted the pace from the outside under jockey Kent Desormeaux and stayed on gamely to the finish, less than a length back of the winner. The Bill Mott trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 12 lifetime starts, earning $285,843 for owners IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm.
Tenth place finisher and beaten favorite Rutherienne heads for the starting gate. Her trainer Christopher Clement said, "The pace was slow, and she was toward the back. It's kind of tough to judge her effort at this point. I'll have to watch the replay."
Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "Actually, all in all, it was a decent trip. When they started sprinting, they couldn't keep up. She threw in a klunker. Hopefully, she will come out of the race good. On the backside, she was almost too keen."
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