ELMONT, NY – OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard unleashed a devastating late burst in the middle of the track to win Saturday’s $400,000 Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the rail at 2/1 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Instilled Regard was the first one out of the barriers, but he was content to set off the pace while continuing to save ground heading into the clubhouse turn.
Cross Border ran relatively unpressured up front and held command until the top of the stretch, when Channel Maker inched ahead narrowly. Finding his best footing at the 1/8 pole, Instilled Regard rallied furiously between Rockemperor and Sadler’s Joy before getting ahead in the final jumps.
Instilled Regard crossed a neck ahead of his Chad Brown stablemate Rockemperor while completing the 1 1/4-mile firm inner turf route in a final time of 2:02.59.
“They both got really good trips,” Brown said. “Both jockeys did a great job and both horses responded super. It’s unfortunate one of them had to lose. In the end, Instilled Regard just made the last move of the chess match. I’m so proud of the horse. He keeps getting better.”
Sadler’s Joy was a 1/2-length back in third, while Channel Maker and Cross Border were a neck and a nose further behind. Spooky Channel, Devamani, and Dot Matrix completed the order of finish.
Instilled Regard’s win was his second straight, having won the local Fort Marcy Stakes (G2) on June 6. The 5-year-old Arch son improved his record to 18-5-3-4 with $983,240 earned.
“His mind is getting better and better every time he runs on the grass,” said Ortiz, Jr. “With this horse, he does everything you want. I like that. I can use him to get in position and he comes back to me so well. He saved all the energy until the end. When I asked him for it, he gave it. I had to work so hard, but when I tipped him out, he responded so well. I knew I had a chance to get there, and he got there on time.”
Instilled Regard returned $6.30 to win, $3.50 to place, and $2.80 to show. Rockemperor brought back $2.90 to place and $2.60 to show, while Sadler’s Joy paid $3.90 to show.