by Los Alamitos Press Release
July 15, 2017
CYPRESS, Calif. – The Grade III, $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby and the $150,000 Forbidden Apple are part of a special cross-country Pick 4 being offered Saturday.
Two races from Los Alamitos and a pair from Belmont Park will comprise the 50-cent minimum wager, which is being labeled “New York-Los Alamitos Pick 4.’’
Besides the Forbidden Apple, which is scheduled for one mile on the turf and attracted 11 runners - including one main track only entrant – the other race from Belmont is a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old maidens bred in New York.
The Forbidden Apple, which is the eighth on the New York Racing Association program, has an approximate post time of 2:18 p.m. PDT while the ninth race for maidens is scheduled to run at 2:50 p.m. PDT.
In addition to the Los Alamitos Derby, which is headed by Easy Goer Stakes winner West Coast, the other local racepart of the exotic wager is an optional claimer for older horses at one mile.
Both of the Los Alamitos races have eight entrants. Post time for the first of the two Los Alamitos races is scheduled for 4:28 p.m. PDT while the Derby is scheduled to go at approximately 4:58.
ELMONT, N.Y. - Nearly 100 New York-breds will gather for a unique 11-race card on Saturday at Belmont Park to celebrate the best of New York for the annual Empire Showcase Day. In addition to eight stakes races worth $1.75 million, anchored by the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, Empire Showcase Day also marks the return of the critically acclaimed Belmont Park Live, airing on MSG+ and FOX Sports Ohio from 4 to 6 p.m. with live coverage and analysis of the $150,000 Hudson, the $200,000 Mohawk, and the $250,000 Empire Distaff. Halloween-themed family fun day activities will also be available on Saturday in Belmont Park's backyard including a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, a Halloween maze, a hayride, a mechanical bull, carnival booths, face painting, "trick or treat" stations, and a costume contest for children. Gates will open at 11:00 a.m., with the first race scheduled for 12:25 p.m. Defending champion Royal Posse leads a field of nine in the Empire Classic as he looks to become the first back-to-back winner of the 1 1/8-mile race since Spite the Devil in 2004-05. One of three entrants from trainer Rudy Rodriguez, the 6-year-old Posse gelding is still looking for his first win of 2017 with his best effort of the year coming with a third-place finish in the 1 3/8-mile Flat Out in May. Royal Posse was most recently sixth in a competitive optional claiming race behind Vulcan's Forge and You're to Blame at a mile on September 15. Royal Posse will be ridden by Luis Saez from the outside post. Rodriguez will also saddle Becker's Galaxy, who finished third in an optional-claimer October 9 after being claimed for $40,000 this summer at Saratoga, and Control Group, riding a three-race win streak this summer. Last time out, Control Group, a 3-year-old colt by Posse, bested New York-breds on August 31 at Saratoga by 2 ½ lengths in a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming race. Expected to generate significant interest is Twisted Tom from the Chad Brown barn, looking to graduate against older horses following victories in the New York Derby and the Albany this summer. A 3-year-old chestnut gelding by Creative Cause, Twisted Tom owns six wins from nine career starts, including his 4 ½-length Albany victory on August 25 last time out. Twisted Tom will break from post 3 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard. Also on tap for the Empire Classic, carded as Race 5, are Albany runner-up Can You Diggit; Papa Shot, coming off a third-place finish in the Korea Cup in Seoul on September 10; last year's runner-up Governor Malibu; 2016 Albany winner Hit It Once More; and Testosterstone, second in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup in September at Parx. Kicking off the day's stakes actions is $250,000 Maid of the Mist as Race 2, featuring graded stakes winner Pure Silver, set to make her first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Spinaway on September 2 at Saratoga Race Course. Trained by Todd Pletcher for Twin Creeks Racing, the Mission Impazible filly won her first three starts, including a 9 ½-length romp in the Grade 2 Adirondack on August 12 at the Spa. Also entering are Joseph A. Gimma winner Held Accountable, Berning Rose, Cause We Are Loyal, Droselmeyr's Smile, I Still Miss You, Miss Mystique, and Newport Breeze. In Race 3, battle-tested fillies Quezon, Wonderment, and Absatootly are set to square off in the $150,000 Iroquois for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. Owned by Marc Keller and trained by Bobby Ribaudo, Quezon won last year's edition of the Iroquois and has been winless this year despite third-place showings in the Grade 3 Vagrancy and the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom. Wonderment enters off a victory in the Artic Queen on October 2 at Finger Lakes, while Absatootly ran fourth last time out in the Gallant Boom on September 24. The three entrants will be joined by Picco Uno, Royal Inheritance, and Cozzy Spring. Peter Brant's Fifty Five headlines a field of nine competitors in the $200,000 Ticonderoga contested over 1 1/16 on Belmont Park's inner turf. The 3-year-old Get Stormy filly enters off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Sands Point, the first time she didn't hit the board in seven starts this year including a win in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks and a second in the Grade 3 Wonder Again. Fifty Five breaks from post 5 and gets the services of Castellano for Brown, who also enters 2016 Grade 2 Lake George winner Ancient Secret with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott entered multiple graded stakes winner Flipcup, who is looking to regain her winning form after a 16 month drought following her score in the 2016 running of the Grade 3 Arlington Matron. Rounding out the field is Barrel of Dreams, Broken Border, Feeling Bossy, Frosty Margarita, Table for Six and Tizzelle. In Race 6, the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow for 2-year-olds, Analyze the Odds, winner of the New York Breeders' Futurity on September 30 at Finger Lakes, returns to Belmont for owner Mike Repole and Pletcher. With two starts at Belmont, including a third-place finish in the Rockville Centre on July 15, the Overanalyze colt will face Bertram F. Bongard runner-up Inalienable Rights, Battle Station, Big Gemmy, Bourbonfuhrme, Engineers Report, Lover's Leap, Mr. Pete, Stoney Bennet, and We Should Talk. Zilla Racing's multiple stakes winner Celtic Chaos headlines a deep field of 10 competitors in the $150,000 Hudson, a 6 ½ furlong sprint over Belmont Park's Big Sandy. Exiting a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Vosburgh on September 30 at Belmont, the 4-year-old Dublin colt will look to capture his third stakes win of the year following his win in the John Morrissey at Saratoga Race Course in July and the Affirmed Success at Belmont in April. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee will get the services of jockey Eric Cancel. Multiple stakes winners Ostrolenka, Gold for the King, Pat On the Back, Sudden Surprise and Weekend Hideaway are entered as are Bust Another, Candid Desire, Eye Luv Lulu and T Loves a Fight. Offering Plan is hoping a cut back in class will help the 5-year-old son of Spring At Last in the $200,000 Mohawk at 1 1/16 miles on Belmont Park's inner turf. He enters off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on October 7 last out. Castellano gets the mount for Brown, who has also entered Nevisian Sky, who will be making his stakes debut. Rounding out the full field of seven entrants is All Is Number, Black Tide, Cloontia, Converge, and Rapt. The $250,000 Empire Distaff, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, will bring down the curtain on the day's stakes offerings as Race 10, which has attracted a field of nine led by Literata for the Rodriguez barn. Literata, a 6-year-old mare by Read the Footnotes, posted back-to-back wins this summer, including a half-length score in the Saratoga Dew on August 14. She finished third behind Tejana and Going for Broke in an optional claiming race against open company on September 28. Literata will be ridden by Castellano from post 8. Also entered in the Empire Distaff are half-sisters Jc's Shooting Star and Jcs American Dream, Pride of Saratoga, Verdant Pastures, No Hayne No Gayne, Bonita Bianca, Might Be, and Five Star Rampage.
ELMONT, N.Y. - Making his first start at Belmont Park since breaking the world record for six furlongs on the Widener turf course at Belmont Park in the Grade 3 Jaipur, Patricia A. Generazio's Disco Partner was equally impressive Saturday on the inner turf course to win the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational. Breaking from post 5 as the 1-5 post time favorite with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, Disco Partner stalked comfortably in third position as Bold Thunder led the field of five through swift fractions with the opening quarter mile going in 22.06 seconds with the half in 44.59. As the field turned for home, Ready for Rye, who was in aim of the leader in second, quickly grabbed the lead in the stretch before Disco Partner was shifted out three wide. Set down and in a drive, Disco Partner quickly made up ground surpassing the pair in front at the sixteenth-pole and going on to secure the victory by 1 ¼ lengths. The final time for the six furlongs was completed in 1:06.97, just shy of the course record set by Gantry in 2011 with 1:06.87. "I knew he was going to be there when I asked him so I just tried to wait as long as I can," said Ortiz. "He's a nice horse. He gives me a nice kick. He probably wasn't as fast today as he was on that day [in the Jaipur], but he is still a nice horse. I think he is one of the best sprinters around right now." Returning $2.70 for a $2 win wager, Disco Partner earned his fourth stakes win of the year at Belmont following victories in the Elusive Quality, Jaipur, and Forbidden Apple. The win boosted his career earnings $823,810. "He's 4-for-4 this year at Belmont, he's a top-class horse," said winning trainer Christophe Clement. "He's fast. Irad said he was always in control. He's a fine horse. He loves Belmont, he loves training here. It was like a morning workout for him. As a trainer, I don't [control] the time [fractions]. As long as he comes back safe, I'm very happy with it." With the victory, Clement said a decision to potentially run next in the $1 Million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on Saturday, November 4 at Del Mar would be up to owners Mr. and Mrs. Generazio, where he could possibly join stablemate Pure Senstaion also owned by the same connections. "I'm very lucky I have two top-class sprinters. We won the race at Parx with Pure Sensation and he [Disco Partner] wins here. So, they can make the decision on who goes to the Breeders' Cup. That'll be up to Mr. and Mrs. Generazio. It's a great problem to have. If they want, I'll take both of them. One has more natural speed [Pure Sensation], this one has the most amazing turn of foot. In three strides, he can just get there. Maybe it's a good team to run together." Following Ready for Rye in third was Snowday, We Deer You and Bold Thunder.