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Owners Michael Dubb (right) and Jack Mandato lead Stradivinsky and C.C. Lopez to the winner's circle after the Jaipur Stakes.
The last stakes race of the Belmont Park spring/summer meeting is the $200,000 Jaipur Stakes (G3). A field of 7 older horses sprinted 6 furlongs on the inner turf course before 5,167 fans under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 90's. Formidable was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off two straight 4th place finishes in the Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs and the True North Handicap (G2) at Belmont. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Stradivinsky, winner of three straight claiming races and stepping up to stakes company after being claimed last out, and 5-1 third choice Perfect Officer, fourth in the Wolf Hill at Monmouth and winless since the Solomon Northrup at Saratoga last August.
Stradivinsky leads on the rail while favorite Formidable runs loose on the outside.
At the start, favorite Formidable stumbled badly unseating jockey Jose Lezcano, and then continued to run loose with the rest of the field during the race. Stradivinsky was sent to the front by jockey C.C. Lopez and he was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 5 lengths through fast fractions of 22.49 and 44.41 over the firm turf course, opening up a 6 length lead at the 1/8 pole. Entering the stretch, 6-1 fourth choice Yield Bogey, last early as many as 11 1/2 lengths off the pace, came out four wide for run and closed well, but was left with too much ground to make up and had to avoid the riderless Formidable in midstretch as Stradivinsky cruised under the line 1 1/4 lengths in front in 1:07.74. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 15-1 Dubai Rainbow third. There was a stewards' inquiry focusing on the start of the race but the result was allowed to stand.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Stradivinsky Lopez 6.90 4.40 3.80 1 Yield Bogey Samyn 5.40 4.80 2 Dubai Rainbow Hill 5.10 Winning Time: 1:07.74 $2 Exacta 4-1 45.65 $2 Trifecta 4-1-2 292.00 $2 Superfecta 4-1-2-6 1,703.00
Left: Stradivinsky in the winner's circle with owners Jack Mandato and Michael Dubb on the left. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. is behind the groom. Dutrow Jr. said, "He loves running fresh, and C.C. gave him a great ride. I told C.C. to concentrate on getting him out of the gate. This horse runs well with spacing, and he likes Churchill Downs, so we'll run him one more time and then point to the Breeders' Cup Sprint."
Right: Stradivinsky in the paddock before the race.
Left: Stradivinsky heads out of the paddock before the race. His jockey C.C. Lopez said, "I've been back riding for less than a month (injured earlier in the year) and this is my first winner at Belmont. He broke really, really well and I didn't realize that there was a loose horse until I saw him inside of me going to the 1/2 mile pole. I said to myself 'well, I can't let him get in front of me because I don't know where he's going to go after he gets in front of me.' So, I pinched him a little bit to get him out of there and from there my horse ran his eyeballs out, he really did."
Right: Second place finisher Yield Bogey in the post parade. The 6-1 fourth choice raced at the back of the field 11 lengths off the pace under regular rider Jean-Luc Samyn, saved ground on the turn and came out wide for the drive, closing well to get second beaten just 1 1/4 lengths at the line. The Patrick Kelly trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 19 starts, earning $226,508 for owner-breeder Fox Ridge Farm.
Left: Third place finisher Dubai Rainbow returns after the race. The 15-1 shot raced in fifth 9 lengths off the pace early under regular rider Channing Hill, then closed late to get third beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Kiaran McLaughin trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 8 seconds, and 3 thirds in 18 starts, earning $157,275 for owner Paul Saylor.
Right: Favorite Formidable gets sprayed off in the paddock before the race. The 6-5 favorite stumbled badly at the break, unseating regular rider Jose Lezcano, then continued to run loose with the field behind the front-running winner, interfering with the late rally of eventual runner-up Yield Bogey.
Past winners of the Jaipur Stakes
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