HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar took over in midstretch and exploded late to take home the big bucks in Saturday’s Grade 1, $7,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 7 at 5/2 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Bricks and Mortar sat off comfortably while the filly Fahan Mura posted opening fractions of :22.94 and :47.93. Recent Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Catapult surprised many by making an early move down the backstretch in order to take command, but his lead was short-lived. Heading into the far turn, Delta Prince and jockey Frankie Dettori slipped past and turned for home looking to steal the race at 9/1, but Bricks and Mortar was hot on his heels and advancing quickly. Straightening for home full of run, the Chad Brown trainee collared and soon cleared Delta Prince. Bricks and Mortar crossed with a 2 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:54.59 for the 1 3/16-mile event over the yielding turf course.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “My horse put me in a good position and just held it together, saving ground. When I got kicked him out, he exploded. The horse is good, but the trainer, we have to get him credit. He gave him some time off and brought him back, give him one race in the allowance race and bring him back ready for this race. That’s a lot of work. Not too many trainers can do that. He’s got good horses, but he knows what he’s doing, and he’s really good, too.”
The European-invading filly Magic Wand closed furiously in deep stretch to overtake Delta Prince for second by a neck. The distance was the longest that he had run in his career, and Dettori was happy with how he met the challenge.
“He ran a super race,” Dettori said. “He has a big heart. He was going so well that I thought turning for home, ‘We’ve got this.’ Just got outrun by two good horses in the end. Super effort. It paid for the expenses – and the night out.”
Catapult faded to fourth after having exerted too much energy earlier in the race. Afterward, jockey Joel Rosario explained that the early move was due to the horse having pulled for much of the early going.
“At one point in the race, I went on the outside and I had him covered up for a second, and then I just let him go on with it because I was grabbing him too much,” Rosario said. “I thought for a second we were going to be fine, but probably that hurt him a little bit for the end.”
Channel Maker was forced to check early on, which prevented him from sitting as close to the pace as he often prefers. Running four- and five-wide down the frontstretch, he was able to hold off the 2/1 favorite Yoshida by a head for fifth. Behind them, Next Shares nosed out Dubby Dubbie for seventh, while the Japanese star filly Aerolithe and a spent Fahan Mura completed the order of finish.
Bricks and Mortar’s win was his second since returning from a 14 1/2-month layoff and improved his overall record to 8-6-0-2. The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway increased his career earnings mark to $3,018,250.
“Irad rode him beautiful,” Brown said. “The horse came ready and handled the course. Everything worked out perfectly. For a little while there, I didn’t think I’d have a horse for the race. I had been resting a lot of them. Bricks and Mortar came in fresh when I was resting other ones. Thanks to Seth (Klarman of Klaravich Stables) and Bill (Lawrence), they were game enough to put up a big entry fee and give it a shot. The horse just performed beautifully.”
Bricks and Mortar returned $7.60 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.20 to show. Magic Wand brought back $9 to place and $6.40 to show, while Delta Prince paid $6.60 to show.