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Flintshire Takes G1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan by Storm

ELMONT, N.Y. – The hype surrounding Flintshire was spot-on as the European turf sensation didn’t disappoint by winning Saturday’s $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan at Belmont Park, his second Grade 1 victory on American turf, with flair.

Flintshire’s victory provided trainer Chad Brown with his fourth trip to the winner’s circle after the Manhattan in the last five years.

Juddmonte Farms’ homebred, who was ridden by Javier Castellano, rolled to a 1 3/4-length victory over second choice Ironicus. The runner-up finished a half-length in front of pacesetter World Approval, who owned a half-length advantage at the wire over Grand Tito, the fourth-place finisher.

World Approval was the pace stter through fractions of 23.81 seconds, 49.77, 1:13.90 and 1:37.09 over the firm turf course, which produced rapid times all day. Longshot Grand Tito was prominent early and nudged along World Approval down the backstretch. Divisidero was in the early mix as well. Flintshire, the 3-5 favorite, was tucked comfortably behind the early leaders as the field raced down the backstretch of the mile-and-a-quarter race.

Castellano deftly moved Flintshire to the outside turning for home and the pair really picked up steam. They moved into the lead as the sixteenth pole approached.

“He’s a phenomenal, spectacular horse,” Castellano said. “He’s very straightforward with his approach. He can [compete] with the best horses in the country. He showed today he was the best horse in the race.”

Brown also had high praise for Flintshire, who he received in March. The 6-year-old son of Dansili previously raced in Europe for trainer Andre Fabre and won last year’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga Race Course with him. Flintshire’s connections were eager to race him in America this year because they believed he would relish the firmer ground and benefit from the fast pace associated with grass racing in this country.

“Wow. First of all, many thanks to Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, for trusting me and my staff with such a remarkable racehorse. He is special,” Brown said. “He ran to his works. Like I said all month, he was sent to me in outstanding condition. We’re just trying to get him into our program, make sure he adapts okay and he doesn’t change for the worse, which he hasn’t.

“He showed the ability to cut back to mile and a quarter with a good turn of foot today.”

Brown said he will map out a schedule to get Flintshire to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November.

“There are no immediate plans. Obviously, the goal is to take down that race at Santa Anita at the end of the year,” the trainer said. “How we get there – there is more than one way to do that.”

Jose Ortiz, who rode Ironicus, said had he enjoyed a better trip, the result of the 115th Manhattan might have been different.

“I was in a perfect spot early on. Then, at the three-eighths pole Javier was outside me and I tried to move out, but he wasn’t letting me in,” Ortiz said. “I took a chance going inside but I didn’t have much room. If I was in a better position, I think I might have won.”

The winner returned $3.40 for a $2 win bet. The Manhattan win pushed Flintshire’s earnings to $8,124,910 and boosted his career record to 6-10-1 in 20 starts.

The order of finish was completed by Divisidero, Big Blue Kitten, Triple Threat, Slumber and Oathkeeper.

The Brown-trained Slumber walked onto the equine ambulance after the finish.

“It’s just precautionary,” Brown said. “It looks like he has a run down or cut on his front ankle. Hopefully, it’s just that. It’s too early to tell but, hopefully, it doesn’t look like anything serious.”

Woodford Reserve Manhattan (G1) Quotes

Chad Brown, winning trainer of Flintshire (No. 10):
“He ran to his works. Like I said all month, he was sent to me in outstanding condition. We’re just trying to get him into our program, make sure he adapts okay and he doesn’t change for the worse, which he hasn’t.”

“He showed the ability to cut back to a mile and a quarter with a good turn of foot today.”

“He has an indescribable amount of class. He’s so intelligent. He picks things up at light speed, oozes class and is a privilege to work with every day.”

“This race wasn’t our first pick. When we got him in and looked at the schedule, how far he’d been running – a mile and a half. He just dragged us to this race with his training in the morning. So sharp work after work. I can’t leave him in the barn for a million bucks when he’s just a couple of hundred yards from here.”

“There are no immediate plans. Obviously, the goal is to take down that race at Santa Anita at the end of the year. How we get there – there is more than one way to do that.”

Javier Castellano, winning jockey of Flintshire (No. 10):
“I had so much confidence with the horse [after] watching all the replays. Mr. [Chad] Brown gave me the opportunity to ride this horse and put me in a great spot. He’s a phenomenal, spectacular horse. He’s very straightforward with his approach. He can [compete] with the best horses in the country. He showed today he was the best horse in the race.”

Shug McGaughey, runner-up trainer of Ironicus (No. 6): “I thought we ran good. We got beat a length and a half by probably the best horse in training on the turf. He had a pretty clean trip, I don’t think we had quite as clean a trip. I’m disappointed we lost but we ran good. We had to steady a little bit on the inside but maybe the race was over by that point. [Flintshire] had clear sailing around, he was on the outside of us the whole way and we were just second.”

Jose Ortiz, runner-up jockey aboard Ironicus (No. 6): “I was in a perfect spot early on. Then, at the three-eighths pole Javier was outside me and I tried to move out, but he wasn’t letting me in. I took a chance going inside but I didn’t have much room. If I was in a better position, I think I might have won.”

NYRA

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