ELMONT, NY – Going off at odds of 3-5, Bricks and Mortar proved he was worthy of the favoritism by winning Saturday’s Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. This was the fifth consecutive win for the five-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway who was coming off of his win last time out in the G1 Old Forester Turf Classic.
Badua broke well out to the front and was quickly joined and then passed by Quarban who claimed the lead and set the early pace. Sitting back in third was Catcho En Die followed by Channel Maker and the favorite, Bricks and Mortar was mid-pack in sixth. Into the second turn, Channel Maker was the first to make a move as he flew to the lead. Robert Bruce also made a nice run and looked to be a major threat. Bricks and Mortar was just getting going though as he sped wide down the stretch and flew up to win by over a length. Robert Bruce held on for second, Raging Bull was third, and Channel Maker was fourth
“He’s so good,” jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “The track was really fast. He always shows up. Since I’ve been riding him he hasn’t got beat yet. I love this horse. He’s a fighter. He broke perfectly and put himself in a good position early so I didn’t have to use him, and I can save ground. I followed Channel Maker the whole way, and when I turned for home and I kicked him out, he just took off.”
He ran great, he was carrying a lot of weight. Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] gave him a beautiful trip,” said trainer Chad Brown. “He fell into a nice spot off the fence but had cover. Once again, he exploded in the stretch. This horse it just amazes me how consistently he is finishing on the turf. He’s getting good trips, he’s kicking at all different distances. [He’s a] very rare horse.”
Bricks and Mortar returned $3.30 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.20 to show. Robert Bruce brought back $5.40 to place and $3.70 to show, while Raging Bull paid $4.30 to show.