ELMONT, NY – H. H. The Aga Khan’s homebred Edisa overcame an awkward start by flying home in the late stages to win Saturday’s $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the rail under Flavien Prat as the 8/5 favorite, Edisa’s slow start put her at the rear with Wonderment and Lady Prancealot while Romantic Pursuit and Dyna Passer set the pace. The field ran relaxed through comfortable fractions of :25.10, :51.56, 1:17.50, and 1:42.57 for the opening mile.
Tipping out a path heading into the far turn, Edisa split between Desert Ride and Art of Almost before shifting out wide near the top of the stretch. Set down to chase after Romantic Pursuit, Edisa continued to race down the middle of the lane and may have not initially seen Wonderment surging to her inside.
A dozen jumps from the wire, Edisa re-rallied and shot ahead late to beat Wonderment by 3/4 of a length. The Alain de Royer-Dupre trainee completed the 1 3/8-mile event over the good inner turf course in a final time of 2:17.02.
“She broke slow and I was on the inside,” Prat said. “I wasn’t really happy with where I was, and they slowed down a lot up front. They went at a slow pace, but I’m very happy she really gave me a good turn of foot.”
Dyna Passer and Romantic Pursuit dueled each other through to the wire before crossing heads apart in that order. Love So Deep was fifth ahead of Lady Prancealot, while behind them came Art of Almost and Desert Ride to complete the order of finish.
Edisa’s win was her third in as many starts at the long distance and improved her overall record to 7-3-2-1 with $500,111 earned. The 3-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy was bred in Kentucky but had raced exclusively in France prior to Saturday’s event.
“Her main quality is a quick turn of foot and she was able to show it here today,” Royer-Dupre said. “She was able to track early, and when she finished late, she was able to come on strong with her quick turn of foot. It’s a great pleasure to win at Belmont Park today. I was last here in 1985, so it’s great to return and win. It’s a beautiful track and it’s nice to run here and win with a top horse.”
Royer-Dupre mentioned that the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita Park is now under consideration.
Edisa returned $5.20 to win, $3.90 to place, and $3.10 to show. Wonderment brought back $7.80 to place and $5.70 to show, while Dyna Passer paid $7.70 to show.