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ELMONT, NY – Spendthrift Farm homebred Following Sea gave sire Runhappy his first graded stakes winner when wiring a short field in Saturday’s $250,000 Vosburgh Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
The Vosburgh is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar this November.
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Following Sea, made the 5/2 third choice in the field of four following the scratch of Jalen Journey, broke well from the far outside post under Joel Rosario and took an easy lead after 3/2 second choice and expected pacesetter Baby Yoda broke slowly.
With Baby Yoda and even-money favorite Firenze Fire running closely behind him, Following Sea posted leisurely opening fractions of :22.59 and :45.24 before straightening for home with a widening advantage.
Continuing to distance himself with every step in the stretch, the Todd Pletcher trainee crossed 4 3/4 lengths the best while completing the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in hand in a final time of 1:09.20.
“I just helped him out of there,” Rosario said. “It looked like he broke really well and he put himself on the lead. I thought he liked that and he ran a big race.”
Firenze Fire, the defending race champion, broke through the gate as the loading process finished but was no worse for wear and allowed to run. He eventually crossed 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Baby Yoda, whose 2-race win streak halted in his first stakes test.
Globe-trotting Irish-bred Good Effort brought up the rear in his western hemisphere racing debut.
Following Sea’s win was his first in a stakes and followed back-to-back third-place finishes in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell Stakes (G1) and the 7-furlong H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) last time out. The 3-year-old colt improved his overall record to 6-3-1-2 with $513,020 earned.
“We just wanted to take advantage of the outside post and see how everything unfolded,” Pletcher said. “He broke great, put himself right on the front, and it seemed like he was in hand throughout. He looked like he kicked on pretty well and Joel wrapped up on him pretty late.”
Following Sea returned $7 to win and $3.10 to place. Firenze Fire brought back $2.50 to place. There was no show betting.
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