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ELMONT, NY – Trinity Farm’s homebred Red Knight sat well off the front end, made an aggressive move halfway through the race, and was able to get the job done in notching a second stakes win in Sunday’s $100,000 Point of Entry over the Widener turf course at Belmont Park.
The New York-bred son of Pure Prize arrived at the 1 1/2-mile event off of a fifth-place finish in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes on September 22 over Belmont’s inner turf. His last victory came in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes, a 2-mile turf marathon at Gulfstream Park last December.
Guided by Junior Alvarado, Red Knight was 13 lengths off the pace as Australian-bred Paret, with Hall of Famer Edgar Prado up, led a strung-out seven-horse field into the first turn, setting an opening 1/4-mile in 23.58 seconds with Noble Indy 2 lengths back in second to the inside of Arrocha and Manitoulin. It was another 8 lengths back to Red Knight in fifth.
With the 1/2-mile in 48.32 seconds, Paret maintained his command as Noble Indy began giving way. At the mile marker, Red Knight and Pillar Mountain moved in tandem with Alvarado, in tight, taking Red Knight back before making a three-wide move at the top of the stretch before asking his horse for more run.
Still the one to catch up front, Paret’s lead was down to a 1/2-length in the stretch drive, but Alvarado was all out aboard Red Knight, who reeled in the pacesetter in the final 1/2-furlong en route to a 1 1/2-length score in a final time of 2:25.94 over the firm turf.
Paret completed the exacta, 1 3/4 lengths the better of Pillar Mountain. Rounding out the order of finish were Manitoulin, Carlino, Arrocha, and Noble Indy.
Alvarado, who scored his second stakes win of the meet aboard Red Knight, said his mount began to jump the gun when the pace slowed down up front.
“Halfway around there, the field started slowing down a little bit up front,” Alvarado said. “My horse got a little excited and he probably thought it was time to go. He got a little keen. I was able to loosen the reins and he calmed back down for me. When I moved to the outside heading into the stretch, he responded very well.”
Red Knight’s lone previous effort going the 1 1/2-mile distance was a narrow second in the Elkhorn Stakes (G2) at Keeneland in the spring.
“This is the perfect distance for him. He was born to run this type of race,” Alvarado said. “Everything matches perfect for him – his style and his build to be successful at this type of race to run a mile and a 1/2.”
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said he was happy to see Red Knight a bit more relaxed in comparison to prior efforts.
“The mile and 1/2 is good for him. He’s coming out of some graded races, so the class relief probably helped him a little bit,” Mott said. “I was pleased that he wasn’t rank. Sometimes he can pull a little bit, but he was off the bridle early and saving his energy.”
Red Knight, who returned $7.20 for a $2 win bet, improved his bankroll to $486,258 while earning $55,000 from Sunday’s win. His lifetime record now stands at 17-7-4-1.
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