ELMONT, NY – Disco Partner cruised to an easy victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park. In winning today, the six-year-old son of Disco Rico successfully defended his Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational title following his win in this race last year and picked up his second stakes win of 2018.
The even-money post time favorite, Disco Partner, broke from the first post position and sat comfortably on the rail as Pure Sensation shot to the front to claim the early lead. Pocket Change and Gidu broke from the outside and quickly got up ahead of Disco Partner and sat just off of Pure Sensation. Blind Ambition and Proforma meanwhile took up the back of the pack as the leaders set fractions of :21.97 and :45.08. As they came around the turn, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. seemed calm and collected as he slowly moved Disco Partner into position and prepared to make his move. At the top of the stretch, Pure Sensation moved in toward the rail, and Disco Partner maneuvered to his outside. As soon as Disco Partner had space, he kicked it into another gear and it was clear the race was over. Disco Partner flew past Pure Sensation like he was standing still and won by an easy 4 1/2 lengths. Blind Ambition got up for second followed by Pure Sensation in third and Proforma in fourth.
“He made me feel very confident on top of him,” Ortiz said. “When I asked him, he was there for me. He was traveling perfect and then I smooched on him at the three-eighths pole and he took off right away for me. I knew he was going to be there for me. He’s a fighter. He always shows up.”
“He’s getting older, but he’s still one of the best, if not the best sprinter, in New York, and I thought it was a very impressive performance,” said trainer Christophe Clement. “Irad was not too hard on him, which is great. As long as he comes back in good shape, we’ll get him ready for the Breeders’ Cup. I don’t like to have too hard of a race before the Breeders’ Cup, so I was very happy with the performance today.”
Disco Partner took third place in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last year at Del Mar and is pointed toward the race again this year where he will look to improve on last year’s performance.
Disco Partner returned $4.20 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.30 to show. Blind Ambition brought back $6.60 to place and $3.70 to show, while Pure Sensation paid $2.70 to show.
Scratched: Simon Bar Sinister and Maniacal