ELMONT, NY – Marconi telegraphed his intentions with a quick move out of the gate under Jose Lezcano, who engineered a perfect stalking trip to capture Thursday’s $100,000 Flat Out Stakes at Belmont Park.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael B. Tabor, Marconi arrived at the 1 3/8-mile stamina test on the Belmont main track from a narrow score in the Skip Away at Gulfstream Park.
Tour de Force, with Kendrick Carmouche up, led the field through a half-mile in 48.97 seconds and established a 6 ½-length lead through three-quarters in 1:13.37. Marconi tracked the leader comfortably from second position with Rocketry, the 6-5 mutuel favorite, trailing at the back of the five-horse field under Joel Rosario.
Marconi advanced on the leader late in the turn as Rocketry launched a wide rally from the back of the pack. Tour de Force battled hard down the lane but was no match for Marconi, who surged to a 2 ¾-length score. Rocketry arrived late for place, a nose in front of Tour de Force.
Monongahela and Twisted Tom completed the order of finish. G Zap and Forewarned were scratched. Marconi covered the distance in 2:15.35 over a main track labelled fast.
Pletcher said the pre-race plan was executed with precision.
“Looking at it tactically, we felt like Kendrick would be on the lead and we wanted to make sure to get away from there,” said Pletcher. “It’s not a long run to the first turn, so we wanted to get out and get position and ended up getting the spot we thought we’d be in. The leader opened up a little more than we thought, but the main thing was to get into a good rhythm and not take away anything that came easily to him.”
Lezcano said he was pleased with the winning trip.
“My horse broke good and we got in a spot where we were second all the way around. When I asked him at the quarter-pole he changed leads and took off,” said Lezcano.
Bred in Kentucky by Brushwood Stable, the 4-year-old Tapit colt banked $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 3-1-1 from eight starts.
Out of the stakes-winning dam Ponche De Leona, Marconi is a half-brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. He paid $9.70 for a $2 win ticket.