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ELMONT, NY – For the second straight year, Firenze Fire ignites his season with a graded stakes triumph, besting a five-horse field in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Runhappy (G3) at Belmont Park.
“I knew the other horse [Chateau] was going to go and no one else was going to be close with him, so I decided to be close and not have to be in a rush,” said Ortiz, Jr. “It’s only six furlongs. I didn’t want to let him relax too much and then make a run from the three-eighths pole. I just let him be closer and waited as long as I could to start going.”
“When I asked him, he responded really well. The tank was full,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “He kept coming and kept moving forward. He feels great. I think this is going to be a good year for him. He can be right there in the conversation with all the good sprinters.”
Chateau, Town Classic, Stan the Man, and Drafted completed the order for the Runhappy.
“There were a couple other races we could have pointed towards; the undercard of the Derby [G1 Churchill Downs], this race or a race over at Pimlico,” Breen said. “But [owner] Ron [Lombardi] said let’s go to his home track at Belmont. There’s no such thing as a soft spot. We locked up Irad. All the things just kept on clicking.”
“I’ll talk to Ron about it but the goal is the Breeders’ Cup Sprint,” Breen said. “I’ll assume at the end of the year he’ll be going to stud, but Ron loves running in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. One day at a time and I’m happy he came back as strong as he did. He looked great.”
This is Firenze Fire’s 13th career win and 6th at Belmont Park including the 2020 Vosburgh Stakes (G2) to improve his record to 32-13-4-3. The 6-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior has now earned $2,319,350 for Mr. Amore Stables.
Firenze Fire returned $3.80 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show.
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