SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Trainer Jena Antonucci heard all the skeptics of Arcangelo and the way the two-and-half month layoff between begins would impact the 3-year-old thoroughbred in Saturday’s 154th operating of the Travers Stakes. She elected to tune them out, and let her horse do the speaking. And Arcangelo delivered, backing up his win in the Belmont Stakes in June with a decisive victory in Saratoga Race Courses’ mid-summer derby.
“Thanks to the naysayers for motivating me a little bit more; not that we need a little bit more motivation,” mentioned Antonucci. “But we will stay focused on what works for this horse.”
The $1.25 million, grade one race for three-year-olds supplied a star-studded seven-horse subject – maybe the deepest pool of expertise the race has seen in years. Arcangelo was one among three Triple Crown race winners in the lineup, together with Kentucky Derby winner Mage, and Preakness victor National Treasure.
But none of these three horses had been favorited Saturday. The chief atop the odds board was trainer Todd Pletcher’s Forte in the first submit place, who gained the Jim Dandy Stakes earlier in the meet. He closed at 8-5 odds, and was adopted carefully by Arcangelo at 5-2, who occupied the two-post.
The subject raced five-wide into the house stretch. But with a furlong-and-a-half to go, Arcangelo discovered a second gear that slingshot him right into a convincing, three-length lead by the 1/eighth pole. The three-horse and seven-horse each dropped again, leaving the six, Disarm, as the solely horse inside putting distance of the two.
Disarm fought onerous on the inside, however the hole was an excessive amount of to beat. Jockey Javier Castellano guided Arcangelo on an excellent journey to victory for Antonucci, who, after changing into the first feminine trainer to win a Triple Crown race, was simply the second feminine trainer to achieve the winner’s circle in the Travers.
“The significance of accomplishing anything in any gender at the top of any sport, or industry, is a gift,” mentioned Antonucci. “It doesn’t come without the team, and without every single person on our team. So, the significance of this – it’s hard to put completely into words right now.”
Castellano continues to personal the Travers. Saturday’s win marked his record-extending seventh victory in the mid-summer derby.
“Seven wins means a lot to me,” mentioned Castellano. “A lot of people gave me help to get it done. It’s hard. That’s why I like to enjoy those beautiful moments when you win those types of races (with) those beautiful horses. I’m really appreciative and thankful for that.”
Disarm completed in second place and the three-horse, Tapit Trice, managed to hold on for the present.
The Travers was simply one among 5 grade one stakes races on the card; the first coming in race seven with the Forego Stakes.
The underlying theme of the Forego was one among redemption. The two favorites of the five-horse subject, Elite Power (3-5) and Gunite (6-5), completed first and second, respectively, in the grade one Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap earlier in the meet.
The two horses linked up round the 1/eighth pole and battled to the end line, however Gunite was in a position to fend off Elite Power – flying down the remaining furlong to earn a grade one victory for trainer Steve Asmussen.
“Gunite’s just a very special horse,” mentioned Asmussen. “To race at the level he has for as long as he has consistently…very tough to (be) beat in the Vanderbilt, but for him to not blink an eye, come back and lay it down again today just proves what a special horse he actually is.”
Asmussen’s day did not finish there. His 4-year-old filly Echo Zulu entered the $500,000 Ballerina Handicap in race 10 a heavy favourite at 3-5.
Following a victory in the grade two Honorable Miss Handicap on July 26, Echo Zulu regarded simply as sharp in the Ballerina. She picked up the lead on the backstretch and by no means regarded again. Trainer Chad Brown’s Goodnight Olive, out of the seven-post, threatened with a late push, however Echo Zulu nonetheless managed a two-and-half-length victory for Asmussen – his second grade one win of the day.
The Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes served as the precursor to the Travers in race 11, and boasted a $750,000 purse. The six-horse subject was maybe the most wide-open of the 5 grade one’s, as no horse maintained higher than 2-1 odds entering into.
Two horses had been tied atop the odds boards at the outset: the one, Soldier Rising, and the seven, Stone Age. Around the remaining flip, Stone Age was operating stride-for-stride with Ireland-bred five-year-old Bolshoi Ballet, who, winless in his earlier 9 begins, was going off at 5-1.
Bolshoi Ballet, skilled by Aidan O’Brien, had impressed earlier than as a three-year-old winner of the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes in 2021, and he discovered his stride once more in his return to the States Saturday. He blew proper by Stone Age round the 1/sixteenth pole, and strolled to a victory of four-and-a-half lenghs.
“When he kept pulling away, it was unbelievable to see,” mentioned Charlie O’Connor, director of gross sales for Coolmore America, which represents Bolshoi Ballet’s homeowners. “Another great group one winner for Galileo. And Aidan O’Brien had this race pinpointed for him (Bolshoi Ballet), and how right he (O’Brien) was again. It’s always an away game for us coming over here; this horse is shipped all over the world. He’s just one hell of a race horse.”
Amid the stretch of grade one’s was the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes in race 9, which, sadly, resulted in tragedy.
New York Thunder was main down the house stretch when he collapsed to the observe in a state of affairs eerily much like that of Maple Leaf Mel in the Test Stakes on Whitney Day three weeks in the past.
The New York Racing Association confirmed with NEWS10 Sports New York Thunder’s harm was catastrophic, and the three-year-old colt was humanely euthanized on the observe.
NYRA’s full assertion relating to the incident may be discovered under:
Update on New York Thunder (Race 9 on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course)
- New York Thunder (#6) sustained a catastrophic harm to his left entrance leg in the stretch run of Race 9 on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course . Despite the quick response of on-site veterinarians, the horse was humanely euthanized as a consequence of the severity of the harm. New York Thunder was skilled by Jorge Delgado and ridden by Tyler Gafflione, who was unhurt.
- Seven horses have sustained catastrophic accidents throughout racing at the 2023 summer time meet at Saratoga Race Course, which opened on July 13 and has featured 2,461 horses beginning in 324 races.
- One horse (Burning Bright) died all of a sudden throughout the operating of a race as a consequence of a significant cardiovascular occasion.
NYRA Statement relating to the 2023 summer time meet at Saratoga Race Course
“The safety of horses and jockeys competing at Saratoga Race Course is paramount,” mentioned NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke. “NYRA is constant to research these catastrophic accidents with HISA officers, the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York State Equine Medical Director. We will instantly seek the advice of with HISA’s Track Surface Advisory Group to additional study the general situation of all three racing surfaces at Saratoga previous to Sunday’s program. In addition, NYRA will convene a bunch of related exterior specialists to guage our present security protocols and procedures.
While NYRA has made significant and sustained progress decreasing the frequency of great accidents over the final ten years, there’s at all times extra work to be finished to construct upon that progress now and in the future.”