Horse Racing

Classic Causeway Stealing Belmont Derby at Turf Debut

It is not uncommon for a race to be decided in the managers’ booth via disqualification.

In the case of $1 million Caesars Belmont Derby Invitation Share (G1T) at Belmont Parka win before 26-1 by Classic Road received a major boost from a breach regarding veterinary records issues that resulted in a scratch of Emmanuel from the 3-year-old race.

When course 13 was drawn for the July 9 opening quarter mile 1 of the Caesars Turf Triple, what was on paper envisioned was the lively tempo at the front between the speedy Classic Causeway and Emmanuel, the race. front winner Pennine Ridge Stakes (G2T).

But when state manager Braulio Baeza Jr ordered the scratch on Emmanuel Saturday, it left Kentucky West Racing and Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust in a position of opportunity.

“I’m really happy to see that,” winning coach Ken McPeek said of the scratch.

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Classic Causeway Wins 2022 Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos

Classic Causeway Fly to Victory

Relationships were even happier after the Classic Causeway controlled the pace and prevented a cavalry attack that closed at the end for a level 1 stake 3/4 of the length on the pitch debut. his. The flashy Chestnut got his first win since his March 12 score at the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2), after which he continued on towards the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) .

Patrick O’Keefe, head of Kentucky West Racing, said of the face-off with Emmanuel: “They’re going to run each other to death. “It does the job very well.”

Win a little less than favorite length 2-1 National pride had been a vindication on many levels for a son of the Giant’s Causeway, who had been hounded by conjecture and criticism over the past few months. After he finished 11th in the Florida Curlin Derby presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Ranch in Xalapa (G1), coach Brian Lynch said the Classic Causeway would not compete in the Run for the Roses.

In turn, the owners pushed for a start in Run for the Roses and the result was a 11th place finish. The 3-year-old was transferred to McPeek after the Derby.

His first start for McPeek was his third in the Ohio Derby (G3) on June 25, after which a chain of events led to the Classic Causeway appearing in the Belmont Derby for a significantly higher price. of the two started for McPeek in the back Tiz the Bomb .

McPeek said: “After the Ohio Derby, I had dinner with the owners and I told them they had to try the pitch. He had feet like a pancake.” “When he ran in the Ohio Derby, he showed a lot of fighting in the last quarter of a mile but he got tired of the race. That’s why I came right back. I feel he needs to run. He’s cranky and out of breath and maybe he needs the race.”

Classic Causeway Wins 2022 Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos / Dom Napolitano

Classic Causeway Heading in Runtime

McPeek also thinks the slower early segments in a long grass race would also suit the Classic Causeway, convincing him to run with just two weeks of rest.

“He needed a little bit of a different pace in the race to be able to relax a little bit,” said McPeeks. “Mentally, he was a tough horse because he wanted to do it too early in the races. mine. I feel for a mile and a quarter (on grass) no one can test him like they do in dirt races in the spring. I think he can relax and breathe a little in the first half. “

When that proved to be a highly accurate prophecy, with some help from the start, O’Keefe was able to win his first grade 1 in over 25 years as an owner.

“We have a genius for a coach,” says O’Keefe. This is all Kenny’s idea. “He looked me in the eye before this race and said he wanted to take this horse around the world.”

In giving McPeek another 1st place win at long odds, the Classic Causeway and driver Julien Leparoux rose from 4th in field 12 and led a European tourist 17-1. Royal patronage in: 23.55 on solid grass with 32-1 shots Grand Sonata five lengths back one-third.

Then the pace begins to slow down as the Royal Patronage drops again, leaving the Classic Causeway half a mile in: 48.02. Classic Causeway is flying with a 1/2 long lead and McPeek loves what he sees.

“The Remainer (Royal Patron) has stepped back,” said McPeek, whose other initiator, Tiz the Bomb, is ninth at 5-1 odds, “and the rest is history. (New York Racing Association analyst) Andy Serling pretty much thought he was a sprinter, but I think he was wrong. “

The Classic Causeway never looked back in the final six stretches, holding a two-length lead in the eighth column and well beyond the ranks of five horses behind that tried in vain to cheer him up.

The final time for a mile and a quarter was 1:59.99 as Classic Causeway paid $55.50 to win, a far cry from the $3.60 for his eventual win. , four games started first in the Tampa Bay Derby.

“The plan is to take the lead. The only time I was a little nervous was on the first turn when Joel (Rosario on Royal Patronage) was going head-to-head with me,” Leparoux said. “When he came back, my horse was flying and was happy to take the lead. I helped him relax comfortably and turned off the engine. It was a good run for him. Today he really did. feeling pretty fresh.”

Classic Causeway Wins 2022 Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos / Dom Napolitano

Classic Causeway Energy Provider

Godolphin’s National pride a hybrid child of Teofilo coached by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Frankie Dettori, rose about eight minutes in the run to take second place by head over his European counterpart Stone Age . Owned by Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg, Galileo’s son has won 3 awards coming in 11th in the early stages. Both horses made their US debuts.

Although McPeek intends to race the Classic Causeway overseas at some point, the August 6 Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T), the second leg of the Caesars Turf Triple, is the Classic Causeway’s next target.

McPeek said: “The Saratoga Derby was a no-brainer.

As for Emmanuel’s scratch, race tracker Baeza wouldn’t elaborate on its reasons, saying, “It’s under investigation. No verdict. If the investigation isn’t complete, how will we go about it. Can we discuss it?”

Todd Pletcher, Emmanuel trainer for WinStar Farm and Siena Farm, said, “At some point I would comment, but now I don’t. I think a mistake was made, but not by the team. I think it’s a classic case of rules being applied and not being published properly.”

Baeza also said that Todd Fincher’s late scratch is trained Ticket Smash in Victory Ride Stakes (G3) was due to the lack of a viable workers’ compensation policy in New York.

Also, during a meeting with the administrators after the race, it was reported that my first Grammy, who had been defeated after Saturday’s second race, later died from a fracture. foot. Team Curlin raced for ownership of Three Player’s Stable and Adam Portnoff was coached by Oscar Barrera III.

For the Classic Causeway, the win was his fourth win in nine starts and pushed his earnings to $1,106,100. Eighth of 11 ponies from the mare Thunder Gulch Private world , he was her only stake winner. He comes from the last of the late Giant Road, consisting of only three ponies.

Private World’s most recent ponies are a hungry pony and a stout pony born earlier this year, both by Evenly .

Classic Causeway Wins 2022 Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos / Joe Labozzetta

Julien Leparoux enjoys victory aboard the Classic Causeway

Video: Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational S. (G1T)

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