Royal Ascot Preview
Belmont Stakes Contenders
Black-Eyed Susan Day
Henny Hughes comes out of the tunnel heading for the track before the Vosburgh.
The $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (G1) is the major prep for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, and five hopefuls made the starting gate in this 6-furlong dash on Super Saturday at Belmont Park. King's Bishop and Jersey Shore winner Henny Hughes was sent off at 9-10 in the 3-year-old's first start against older horses. Last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Silver Train was the 7-5 second choice, having won the Met Mile and the Tom Fool so far this year, and 7-1 War Front rounded out the top three on the board, the winner of the Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup and second in the Forego last out.
20-1 longest shot Attila's Storm was first out of the gate and got the initial quarter mile in 22.34, but Henny Hughes was already breathing down his neck and when asked by jockey John Velazquez at the midpoint of the turn, he moved up alongside the pacesetter to poke his head in front at the top of the stretch after a half in 44.82. When the field straightened out in the lane, Henny Hughes pulled away to win by 2 3/4 lengths at the line in 1:08.13. War Front put in a late rally to pass the tiring Attila's Storm in the final 1/8 to get second place by 1/2 a length. Silver Train was slow out of the gate, saved ground on the turn, but had nothing for the drive, finishing last.
Check out the other races on the card: Jockey Club Gold Cup, The Beldame, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, and The Flower Bowl Invitational.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Henny Hughes Velazquez 3.90 2.80 2.30 2 War Front Santos 5.20 3.90 4 Attila's Storm Velasquez 4.70 $2 Exacta (1-2) paid 19.40 $2 Trifecta (1-2-4) paid 89.00 Winning Time: 1:08.13Results Chart from DRF
Henny Hughes takes his walk down Victory Lane. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "He was pretty impressive today, let me tell you. He broke a touch slow out of there. I didn't panic, I knew he was going to be fast enough to catch them. I just got on him at the quarter pole and let him go and he responded right away. He relaxed really good. He showed hat he can do anything."
Henny Hughes in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "I told Johnny that if another horse clears us, that would be great. Just ride your race. We broke a little flat-footed, but everything worked out great. He was training unbelievable prior to the King's Bishop. After the King's Bishop, I was leaking a little bit of confidence. He proved he's a top horse. We're there now (in the Breeders' Cup Sprint). We'll keep him happy. We just have to go a few halves with him."
Second place finisher War Front in the post parade. His jockey Jose Santos said, "He tried hard. He ran much better today than he did at Saratoga. Henny Hughes was much the best, though. The last time, he was going backwards at the end; but this time he was moving forward. He's been running second to some real good horses."
Third place finisher Attila's Storm in the post parade. His trainer Richard Schosberg said, "It was a great race for him. I felt bad for the horse because he tried so hard for second. If he comes back good, we will look towards the Sprint. 1:08 flat was something; he just got a little tired today." Jockey Cornelio Velasquez added, "My horse, he ran big. He hadn't run in a long time and needed the race."
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