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Jockey Angel Arroyo returns aboard Highway Star after the 2017 Ruffian
There were 4 graded stakes races at Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon. Rain fell most of the day at the historic Long Island oval, soaking the main track and turf courses, with some fog and temperatures in the low 50's. The $250,000 Ruffian Stakes (G2) featured a field of 5 older fillies and mares going 1 mile around one turn of the main track. Bar of Gold was sent off as the 6-5 favorite off 4th place finishes in the Go For Wand Handicap (G3) and the Plenty of Grace Stakes. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice High Ridge Road, 7th in the Madison (G1), and 13-4 third choice Indulgent, second in the Distaff Handicap (G3).
Down the stretch in the Ruffian
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent Indulgent to the front exiting the chute and she set fractions of 23.84, 48.11, and 1:12.49 while pressed by High Ridge Road and stalked by 5-1 Highway Star. Entering the stretch, jockey Angel Arroyo sent Highway Star past the tiring Indulgent to gain a short lead through 7f in 1:25.76. Bar of Gold, 4th early, came through late but Highway Star held her off by 1/2 a length in 1:39.05 over the sloppy track. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to High Ridge Road third.
Past winners of the Ruffian from NYRA
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Highway Star Arroyo 12.00 4.20 2.60 5 Bar of Gold Rosario 3.10 2.10 1 High Ridge Road Ortiz 2.10 Winning Time: 1:39.05 $2 Exacta 3-5 29.40 $2 Trifecta 3-5-1 51.50 $2 Superfecta 3-5-1-2 131.00
Left: Highway Star in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Rodrigo Ubillo said, "We got a very good trip, Angel did a great job. He saved ground and we talked about doing that before the race. The speed had been strong all day but the last two races it died out a little bit so we decided not to change our tactics and it worked out. She's good enough she can do anything. We're very happy. I don't know where we'll go from here. We'll take it step by step, but so far we'll enjoy this win and we're happy."
Right: Highway Star heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Angel Arroyo said, "This filly ran really great. I was concerned a little because the other filly Bar of Gold has ran five times on a sloppy track and won five times, so she loves the slop. I wasn't as sure about my filly, but she took to it today. She's a real racehorse."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Bar of Gold returns after the race. The John Kimmel trainee has a record of 5 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 18 starts, earning $784,000 for owner-breeder Chester and Mary Broman.
Right: Third place finisher High Ridge Road heads out of the paddock before the race. The Linda Rice trainee has a record of 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 4 thirds in 13 starts, earning $440,490 for owner Martin Schwartz.
Timeline leads down the stretch in the Peter Pan Stakes
Jockey Jose Ortiz sent Meantime to the front exiting the chute through fractions of 24.02, 47.68, and 1:12.99 over the sloppy track while pressed by Timeline and stalked by 9-1 Impressive Edge. Entering the lane, jockey Javier Castellano moved Timeline out 3 wide for room to take over through 1 mile in 1:38.37. Kept to task by Castellano, Timeline drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Meantime in 1:51.62. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Impressive Edge third.
Past winners of the Peter Pan from NYRA
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Timeline Castellano 11.40 5.50 2.80 3 Meantime Ortiz 6.90 2.90 4 Impressive Edge Saez 2.20 Winning Time: 1:51.82 $2 Exacta 2-3 9.20 $2 Trifecta 2-3-4 32.60 $2 Superfecta 2-3-4-6 68.50
Left: Timeline in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "Javier said he kind of ran in spots a little bit at the end of the race. He kind of had to use him a little bit out of the gate to get his footing and then felt good. Then at one point in the race, again, he felt like he maybe he should've went with the going just a touch. Then he cut the corner and got on better footing and the horse gave him another good kick."
Right: Timeline heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "He's a really nice horse and the way he did it today was amazing. This kind of horse is very straight forwarded. All you have to do is push a button and he goes forward. The track was a good condition for him. He was really professional. I think he can improve a lot, too. I think he can (go 1 1/2 miles in the Belmont). The way he galloped out and stay strong; he can run all day. But it's up the owner and trainer. But he can handle the slop."
Left: Second place finisher Meantime returns after the race. The Brian Lynch trainee has a record of 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $83,740 for owner Silverton Hill LLC.
Right: Third place finisher Impressive Edge heads out of the paddock before the race. The Dale Romans trainee has a record of 2 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 thirds in 7 starts, earning $124,876 for owner NK Racing.
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