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ELMONT, NY – True to his name, once Jump Sucker Stable’s Slipstream tipped out to challenge the leader in mid-stretch, he quickly blew away from his competition and got up in time to win Sunday’s $150,000 Futurity Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
The Futurity is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar this November.
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Though 4/1 on the morning line, Slipstream was the 2/1 second choice by the time he broke from post 4 under Joel Rosario, who soon pulled the Christophe Clement trainee back to trail the field of eight 2-year-olds after bumping with Biz Biz Buzz and Kavod.
Run Curtis Run broke alertly from the rail and raced inside Ready to March through fractions of :22.39 and :44.72, and though Ready to March dropped anchor by the top of the stretch, Run Curtis Run still found more.
Poppy Flower ranged up to make a bid off the far turn, but that faltered just as Slipstream burst through a hole along the rail and quickly closed ground on the pacesetter.
Finally finding room to tip out near the 1/16 pole, Slipstream shot past Run Curtis Run late to win the 6-furlong firm outer turf sprint by 1 length in 1:08.36.
“It just looked a little tight right away and I kind of had to take up a little bit and find a different style with how the race was playing out,” Rosario said. “The plan was to be a little closer, but it all happened right away, so I had to take another way to do it.”
Biz Biz Buzz took the overland route in the stretch before finishing third, a 1/2-length behind Run Curtis Run and 1 length ahead of Midnight Worker.
Trainer Wesley Ward’s two fillies Poppy Flower and Chi Town Lady (the even-money favorite who seemingly lost all chance after breaking poorly) crossed fifth and sixth, respectively, ahead of the James Chapman-trained pair of Kavod and Ready to March.
Slipstream’s win was his second straight following a 7-furlong maiden sprint over this course September 18 and improved his record to 4-2-0-1. The More Than Ready colt, purchased for $170,000 as a yearling, has now earned $147,600 and will target the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), a 1-mile turf route at Del Mar, rather than the 5-furlong turf sprint.
“I prefer 6 (furlongs) going into a race that’s a mile at Del Mar on firm, than a mile and 1/16 (in last week’s Pilgrim Stakes [G2])and drop back to a mile,” Clement said. “I always like when you go to California, the idea of pushing that sprinter speed going 6 or 7 furlongs to a mile.”
Slipstream returned $6.60 to win, $3.90 to place, and $3.30 to show. Run Curtis Run brought back $13 to place and $7.80 to show. Biz Biz Buzz paid $4.80 to show.
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