ELMONT, NY – Lael Stables’ Magic Attitude made her American racing debut a winning one in Saturday’s $250,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 2 under Javier Castellano as the even-money favorite in the five-horse field of 3-year-old fillies, Magic Attitude sat back early while staying within striking range.
The 6/5 second choice Antoinette broke on top from post 5 and safely cleared her inner rivals heading into the clubhouse turn. Key Biscayne, Neige Blanche, and Setting the Mood gave closest watch through opening fractions of :24.89, :49.99, and 1:14.17.
Antoinette continued leading as the field rounded the far turn, but Magic Attitude was hustling forward swiftly while tipped out widest of all in the stretch.
Taking over midway home, the Arnaud Delacour trainee drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths while completing the 1 1/4-mile firm turf route in a final time of 2:01.14.
“I really like the way she did it,” Castellano said. “Watching the replays, it seemed like she could be a little bit keen. She always seemed to break well out of the gate and get good forward position in Europe. Today, she broke OK. I tried to cover up a little bit. It was her first time in the country, and at a mile and 1/4, you always have to save something for the end. She sat beautifully behind the speed. She had a nice rhythm. When I asked her turning for home at the 1/4 pole, she just took off really well. I was very excited to see the way she did it today.”
Antoinette held second by another 2 1/4 lengths over Neige Blanche, who took first run at the leader at the top of the stretch but failed to sustain her bid.
Settine the Mood necked out Key Biscayne for fourth to complete the order of finish.
Magic Attitude’s win improved her overall record to 7-3-1-1 with $245,437 earned. The British-bred Galileo filly made her first 6 starts in France, where she captured the Prix Vanteaux (G3) at Longchamp to start her 2020 campaign.
“The pace was a little bit of a concern,” Delacour said. “With a five-horse field, you never know what’s going to happen, but it didn’t change her running style, as that’s how she likes to race. Javier timed it perfectly and she came with a good kick.”
Magic Attitude returned $4.30 to win, $2.50 to place, and $2.10 to show. Antoinette brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Neige Blanche paid $2.40 to show.