By Nicholas Godfrey 9:59PM 11 JUN 2016
Report: USA, Saturday
Belmont Park: Metropolitan Hcap (Grade 1) 1m, dirt, 4yo+
AFTER his Dubai World Cup flop, Frosted (Kiaran McLaughlin/Joel Rosario) had plenty of questions to answer – and the Godolphin four-year-old answered them in no uncertain terms when he annihilated a good field in the $ 1.25million event better known as the Met Mile.
After making an impressive Dubai debut at Meydan in February, Frosted could finish only fifth behind California Chrome when well fancied in the World Cup itself.
Cutting back in trip for his first run since then, 2.35-1 favourite Frosted took control in upper stretch before charging away to score by the small matter of 14¼ lengths, stopping the clock in a speedy 1m32.73s.
The grey son of Tapit was completing a memorable Grade 1 double on the Belmont undercard for his trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who also won the Ogden Phipps with Cavorting.
Also on Saturday
Belmont Park: Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, dirt, 4yo+
Cavorting (Kiaran McLaughlin/Florent Geroux) came off much the best with a rousing performance to take her record at the track to four out of five in this $ 1m clash of five Grade 1 winners.
Stepping up in trip after making her name as a late-running sprinter when she won the Grade 1 Test over 7f, the four-year-old has now won seven of her 12 starts.
This was a career high as her vicitms included last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria (only sixth) and multiple Grade 1 scorers Curalina (fourth) and Sheer Drama (fifth).
“Her pedigree indicated that she wanted to go further,” said winning trainer McLaughlin. Second place was claimed late by Forever Unbridled at a respectful two and a half lengths behind the 43-10 winner.
Belmont Park: Just A Game Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 4yo+
DESPITE being well fancied, Newmarket visitor Irish Rookie produced a thoroughly downbeat display as she was well beaten behind the highly impressive Celestine (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado), who defied an 8lb penalty in good style to take this $ 700,000 contest.
Drawn nine in a 13-runner field, the Martyn Meade-trained Irish Rookie raced well back before being rounding the turn four wide and being asked to challenge eight wide in the stretch, where she had little to offer.
In the end, she beat only one home as Celestine, a four-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, showed a tremendous turn of foot to win by nearly four lengths in a time of 1m31.64s – very fast, just a hundredth off the course record, and reflective of the firm state of the turf after the forecast rain stayed away.
The winner, who raced in second before launching her final burst in the stretch, was sent off a 15-2 shot. Recepta took second a length ahead of the favourite Mrs Mcdougal.
Belmont Park: Acorn Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, dirt, 3yo fillies
As Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia faded in the stretch, second favourite Carina Mia (Bill Mott/Julien Leparoux) closed late to record a last-to-first victory by a length and a quarter over Off The Tracks, who rallied to claim second from the odds-on favourite.
Belmont Park: Jaipur Invitational (Grade 3) 6f, turf, 4yo+
Pure Sensation (Christophe Clement/Jose Ortiz) was sent off an 18-1 longshot but didn’t run like one as the five-year-old broke the track record with a scorching all-the-way victory in a time of 1m06.76s. “When this horse is right, he’s a top-class horse,” said the winning trainer.
Belmont Park: Brooklyn Invitational (Grade 2) 1m4f, dirt, 4yo+
Shaman Ghost (Jimmy Jerkens/Joel Rosario), Canada’s champion three-year-old in 2015 after winning the Queen’s Plate for former trainer Brian Lynch, scored for the fifth time in ten career starts in this $ 400,000 contest – one of the few US Graded stakes run at a trip beyond 1m2f.