ELMONT, NY – Irad Ortiz, Jr.’s perfectly-timed stretch run aboard Disco Partner made all the difference on Saturday, carrying the Patricia Generazio homebred to his second straight victory in the Grade 2, $400,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Jaipur is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Disco Partner receiving an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 3.
Breaking well from post 3 as the 3-2 betting favorite, the defending champion was content to settle one lane off the rail in mid-pack while stablemate and 2016 victor Pure Sensation posted initial splits of :22.16 and :44.03. Exiting the far turn, Conquest Tsunami made a move around the outside of the leader and challenged for the lead. Behind them, Ortiz, Jr. tipped Disco Partner off the rail to run five-wide down the stretch and commenced a furious rally to the front. In the shadow of the wire, Disco Partner was able to wrestle command in the shadow of the wire to win by a length in a final time of 1:06.74, about a second slower than the world-record time of 1:05.67 that he set in last year’s race.
“Basically, everything worked out great,” said trainer Christophe Clement, who won the Jaipur for the third straight year and fourth overall. “He was a bit closer to the pace today. (Pure Sensation) actually ran a great race because he grabbed a quarter pretty bad and still managed to finish third.”
Less than a length separated the next four runners. Conquest Tsunami edged Pure Sensation for placing by a head, with a nose the only difference between Holding Gold and Pocket Change behind them. Stormy Liberal, Blind Ambition, and Frisky Magician completed the order of finish.
Disco Partner’s victory was his first in 2018 and improved his overall record to 23-10-4-4. A late-running third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, the 6-year-old son of Disco Rico increased his career bankroll to $1,153,810, becoming racing’s newest millionaire.
“My first feeling when you win these kind of races, it’s a great credit to Mr. and Mrs. Genarazio,” said Clement. “They have a wonderful program and they are great owners and breeders to work for. I’m just a lucky guy to train those kind of horses.”
Disco Partner returned $5.10 to win, $3.50 to place, and $2.70 to show. Conquest Tsunami brought back $6.10 to place and $4.30 to show, while Pure Sensation paid $5.90 to show.