Channel Cat (No. 5) hits the wire a nose for the good of Gufo in Man o ‘War
Giving an encore for a Kentucky Oaks-Kentucky Derby sweep is a big job, but Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez rose to the challenge by bringing Channel Cat to the top at every point of the lead and the angry 3rd : 2 Favorite Gufo Saved Charge yourself in the final jumps to claim a win by the nose in first class on Saturday, $ 700,000 Man o ‘War for 4 year olds and 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf from Belmont Park.
Velazquez, who won the Class 1 Run for the Roses aboard Medina Spirit and the Kentucky Oaks Class 1 last weekend with Malathaat, increased his record for tiered wins when Channel Cat broke off sharply from Post 5 and the eight-horse leading field with quick fractions of 22.69 seconds for the quarter mile with half in 47.53 on the lawn was well rated. Field Pass was followed from second position as Channel Cat led the field through three-quarters in 1:12.45, maintaining his advantage from a distance.
Aiming for the first win of its 6-year campaign, Channel Cat carried on when Moon Over Miami challenged its insides. Velazquez kept his charges vigilant but then had to fend off Gufo’s late outside bid.
Under Joel Rosario, battling for his fifth win that day, Gufo closed the deficit in the last sixteenth and the two challengers arrived on the wire almost simultaneously, with Channel Cat winning the head bob and hitting the wire in 2: 13.34 tons Give coach Jack Sisterson his first career win at Belmont.
“I didn’t think we were going that fast,” said Velazquez. “I knew we were going fast, but not quite 22 and we would change. I gave him loose reins and he was a happy horse up front. I was happy with the way he did things. I felt [Gufo] I came when I asked him to run. “
Sisterson added, “I left it [the trip decision] in Johnny Velazquez’s hands. I told him last weekend [winning the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby] was pretty amazing. I did not sleep last night. I wasn’t nervous about Channel Cat, I was nervous about letting John Velazquez down because I didn’t want to ruin last weekend’s celebrations. “
Channel Cat took its first win in 10 starts and its first win since the Class 2 bowling green in July 2019 at the Spa. The English Channel son finished second or third in three tiered bets during this stretch, including a runner-up in the Class 2 Elkhorn which drove 1 1/2 miles over a well-rated grass pitch in Keeneland on April 17th.
“Thanks to Channel Cat and the barn people who do all the hard work to get a Grade 1,” said Sisterson, who has earned a Grade 1 on all three NYRA routes following Vexatious’s last win in the Personal Ensign – Achieved victory in year on the Saratoga Race Course and True Timbers victory in December on the Aqueduct Racetrack. “I don’t accept that. It’s all thanks to the people behind the scenes who the people don’t see.
“He started in great shape,” he added. “He ran a great race in the Elkhorn before being released and ended well, closing in quick breaks.”
At 8: 1, Channel Cat returned $ 18.40 on a $ 2 win. The Calumet Farm Homebred earned millionaire status and increased its earnings to $ 1,383,522 with a career record of 6-3-5 in 26 starts.
“It’s nice to win a race for the owner,” said Sisterson. “He is so passionate about and supports the sport.”
Sisterson said Channel Cat is still an option for the $ 750,000 Resorts World Manhattan Class 1 Casino on Belmont Stakes Day June 5th.
Otter Bends Stables’ Gufo, the 124-pound heavyweight, looked sharp on his first start after a more than five month layoff, beating Moon Over Miami by a neck for the second. The Christophe Clement trainee, who won his previous start in the Belmont Derby Class 1 in October and a second year win in Class 3 Kent, has landed on the board in all nine career starts and has improved to 5-2 – 2 for coach Christophe Clement.
“Whenever you beat the first race with such a good race, it’s disappointing because I love the horse,” said Clement. “Especially when you consider we gave the winner six pounds. But I’ll tip my hat on the winner, he ran a good race. Gufo will improve from the race. We’re going to go to Manhattan just hoping we don’t have to give everyone else six pounds and go from there. “
Conditioned by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Summer Moon Equines Moon Over Miami was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Shamrocket to earn a black guy for the third straight year in his 4 year year, leading to his third in the second Mac Diarmida contributed grade 2 in February and runner-up in grade 2 Pan American in March at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s such a cool horse. He always gives you a good run, ”said Junior Alvarado, Moon Over Miami driver. “He always tries and no matter where you put him, he is always there for you. After all, I think he’ll win a big race. He deserves it. He can do a lot of different things. He’s knocked on the door at some big races this year. He’s definitely one with a future ahead of him. “
So High, Ziyad, Sovereign, and Field Pass completed the order of completion.
The 62nd run of the Man o ‘War, named for the Hall of Famer who debuted its legendary career at Belmont Park in 1919, headlined a five tiered-stake card, including Firenze Fire, which won Class 3 Runhappy . Harvey’s Lil Goil conquers 3rd grade Beaugay, Sacrifice of Love who wins 3rd grade Vagrancy, and Promise Keeper wins 3rd grade Peter Pan.
The live race continues on Sunday with a nine race card and an initial post at 1 p.m. Eastern. Highlighted is the $ 100,000 gold rush for sophomores who ride six furlongs on the main track in Race 8 at 4:51 p.m.
As of May 1st, Belmont Park has reopened to a limited number of spectators. All admissions must be purchased in advance at nyra.com/belmont/tickets/.
For complete information on the health and safety protocols applicable to the Belmont Park Spring / Summer meeting, please visit: https://www.nyra.com/belmont/visit/plan-your-visit.
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