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ELMONT, NY – Trainer Bill Mott’s Channel Maker won his second title from the past three years in Saturday’s $250,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Channel Maker broke well from post 3 under Manny Franco as the 5/2 second choice and went straight to the front, where he posted fractions of :22.89, :49.44, 1:14.45, and 1:38.20 through the opening mile.
Straightening for home still with a significant lead, Channel Maker held his advantage well, crossing 2 1/4 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/2-mile firm outer turf route in 2:25.99.
In his North American racing debut, the German-bred Laccario took second by a 1/2-length over Sadler’s Joy.
Completing the order of finish came Master Piece, the 2/1 favorite Rockemperor, Cross Border, and Highland Sky.
Channel Maker’s win improved his resume to 36-7-5-4 with $2,631,551 earned for co-owners Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable, and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. The Ontario-bred 6-year-old English Channel gelding may head to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) for his next start; his place in the starting gate is already secure after capturing the “Win and You’re In” Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) last time out.
Channel Maker returned $7.60 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3 to show. Laccario brought back $8.10 to place and $4 to show, while Sadler’s Joy paid $3.40 to show.
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