ELMONT, NY – The deadly triumvirate of owner Klaravich Stables, trainer Chad Brown, and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., struck gold yet again when Newspaperofrecord won Saturday’s $250,000 Just a Game Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Sent from post 4 as the co-even money favorite (a title she shared with stablemate Uni), Newspaperofrecord took advantage of the easy lead gifted to her. She strolled through easy fractions of :23.79, :48.13, and 1:12.22 while nobody felt comfortable trying to tackle her.
Giving her the green light at the top of the stretch, Irad angled Newspaperofrecord off the rail slightly and shut the door on a rapidly-improving Uni, who had to tap the brakes and alter course. Newspaperofrecord had more than enough left as she crossed 3 lengths clear in a final time of 1:35.62 for the firm outer turf mile event.
“She’s doing good and has come back really good,” said Ortiz, Jr. “Going 7/8 to a mile is good for her; she can go further, too, and I would not be afraid to go a mile and 1/16. I just followed Chad’s instructions.”
Beau Recall was positioned outside of Uni at the top of the stretch, which allowed her to continue running while Uni had to redirect her run. That may have proved the difference, as she beat Uni across by a 1/2-length.
Regal Glory, Zofelle, and Valedictorian completed the order of finish. Got Stormy was scratched.
Newspaperofrecord’s win was her second from as many starts in 2020 following the Intercontinental Stakes (G3), indicating a vast improvement on her 0-for-3 record last season. The Irish-bred 4-year-old Lope De Vega filly now sports an overall mark of 8-5-2-0 with $988,250 earned.
“We trained her lightly and she has been training very relaxed,” said Brown, who has now won the race four straight years. “Last time, she was going really fast and was a little fresh. Irad was confident that he could get her to rate a little bit. I loved our post today, off the fence a little bit. The last-minute showers didn’t hurt us, either. We all know that she likes a little juice in the ground. It was a good effort after three weeks. I was very proud of her. My team has done a great job with her. She’s never looked better. She’s training so comfortably in the mornings.”
Newspaperofrecord returned $4.10 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Beau Recall brought back $5.40 to place and $2.40 to show, while Uni paid $2.10 to show.