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Hi Happy takes his walk down Victory Lane after winning the Man O'War.
The feature race at Belmont Park on Saturday was the $700,000 Man o'War Stakes (G1), a 1 3/8 mile inner turf contest for older horses. Conditions were less than ideal, as rain downgraded the turf courses and main track to good with temperatures in the high 50's. After 2 scratches, a field of 8 went to post with Hi Happy went off as the 2-1 favorite off his win in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Sadler's Joy, 4th in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) before winning the Mac Diarmida (G2), and 7-2 third choice Call Provision, 4th in the Elkhorn (G2).
Hi Happy leads in the stretch
Past winners of the Man O'War Stakes
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Hi Happy Velazquez 5.90 3.20 2.30 2 Sadler's Joy Ortiz Jr. 3.40 2.60 9 One Go All Go Leparoux 3.60 Winning Time: 2:25.31 $1 Exacta 7-2 9.00 $0.50 Trifecta 7-2-9 19.25 $0.10 Superfecta 7-2-9-6 11.05
Left: Hi Happy in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "It was just a perfect trip, exactly what we were hoping for. He delivered a big performance. We're very proud of him. We'll see how he bounces out of it. I suppose the Manhattan is a possibility."
Right: Hi Happy heads back to the barns after the race.
Left: Hi Happy in the paddock. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "He was perfect. He broke pretty good, pretty clean, sharp. He was right there in the perfect position. We has a feeling we would be right there, but everything came so well. When we came to the 3/8, he was ready to run. I feld the other horses coming, but he never gave up. He was always trying so I just kept going with him and he finished very strongly."
Right: Hi Happy heads out to the track.
Left: Second place finisher Sadler's Joy in the paddock. Trainer Tom Albertrani said, "He ran well. He finished strong and he had a good trip. Nothing to be ashamed of, the horse comes running every time, just a matter of getting in front by a half or losing by half. We're still looking forward to running in the Manhattan." Jockey Julien Leparoux added, "We ran a good race. Like usual, he sat behind and made one run. He made a run, he ran good, he just couldn't get by the winner."
Right: Third place finisher One Go All Go returns after the race.
A Raving Beauty wins the Beaugay Stakes
Jockey John Velazquez sent 6-1 fourth choice Team of Teams to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 25.62, 49.87, and 1:12.97 while pressed by 59-1 longest shot Broken Bridle and stalked by A Raving Beauty. Entering the stretch, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent A Raving Beauty 2 wide for room and she swept to the front through 1 mile in 1:35.65. Kep to task by Ortiz, A Raving Beauty drew off late to win by 3 lengths over favorite Inflexibility in 1:41.64. It was a neck back to 12-1 Lido third.
Past winners of the Beaugay from NYRA
Results Chart from DRF.
Left: A Raving Beauty in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "She broke a lot better than I thought she would. She's been training extremely well, and was a lot more forwardly placed than I thought anticipated. I thought Irad did a really good job to cover up. He had a choice there at the first eighth to maybe put her outside the other speed horse to see if he could settle her that way or cover up, but I think if he chose to put her outside she might have run off, so I think he really won the race by choosing to cover up and then she did settle down."
Right: A Raving Beauty heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I got a perfect trip. She broke great. She put my horse in a great position. I just waited there, covered up and followed the speed. When I took her out she just exploded. She's got a big turn of foot."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Inflexibility in the paddock before the race. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $445,456 for owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence.
Right: Third place finisher Lido returns after the race. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $206,231 for owner-breeder Godolphin Racing.
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