ELMONT, NY – Diversify made short work of his foes at his home track to take home Saturday’s Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. As usual, Diversify went straight to the front, and simply never looked back as he ran his rivals off their feet to win the race by an eye popping six and a half lengths.
The plan is always a simple one with Diversify, and Irad Ortiz, Jr. wasted little time right out of the gate as he hurried Diversify to the lead. From there he battled with War Story and Zanotti, but those two were no match for him as he blazed a trail through early fractions of 23.47 and 46.18. Turning for home after setting fast fractions you might have thought the closers would be ready to make their move, but it never happened. Diversify just kept rolling, and stopped the clock for a mile and a quarter at 1:59.84.
“My plan was to break and go,” said Ortiz. “I broke good, I sent him, and he took me the whole way. He was traveling perfect. I just went from there and started moving and he responded very well. He went fast, and he gave me another gear at the quarter pole.”
Usually when a speed horse goes fast early it is tough for them to hold on in the stretch, but when Diversify is at his best there is nobody better at doing exactly what he did on Saturday. The win makes him six for eight at Belmont Park, and throws him into the mix in an older male division that is completely wide open. He will move to the top of the list of older handicap males in New York.
The win makes Diversify two for three this season. After a poor 2018 debut in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, he rebounded to win by a nose in the Commentator Stakes for New York breds on May 28. The Rick Violette, Jr. trainee now has won nine races out of fourteen lifetime starts while also becoming racings newest millionaire with his Suburban victory.
“We were meant to be aggressive and Irad told me when he realized it was Zanotti and War Story [chasing him], he kind of just stepped on the gas,” said Violette. “He did it pretty comfortably. I think this is his best race ever. He beat some nice horses, withstood some serious pressure, fast fractions, and he obviously loves Belmont.”
Diversify returned $14.00 to win, $8.00 to place, and $6.40 to show. The Lieutenant brought back $24.00 to place and $11.00 to show, while Discreet Lover paid $16.40 to show.