Sunday, Saratoga Race CourseALFRED G. VANDERBILT H.-GI
, $392,000, SAR, 8-4, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:08 2/5, ft.
1–sJUSTIN PHILLIP, 118, h, 5, by First Samurai 1st Dam: Ava Knowsthecode (GSP, $156,596),by Cryptoclearance 2nd Dam: Ava Romance, by Avatar 3rd Dam: Sunny Romance, by Gallant Romeo
($400,000 yrl '09 KEESEP). O-Zayat Stables LLC;
B-Oakbrook Farm (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen;
J-John R Velazquez. $240,000. Lifetime Record:
29-7-5-7, $1,118,437. *1/2 to Keyed Entry (Honour
and Glory), MGSW, $322,852; Successful Mission
(Successful Appeal), GSW, $353,043; and
Algorithms (Bernardini), GSW, $301,500. **Second
GISW for sire (by Giant’s Causeway). Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
, 119, c, 4, Gone West
Squall, by Storm Bird. O/B-Donald R Dizney (FL);
T-David Fawkes. $80,000.
, 116, c, 4, Half Ours--Lady of Sun,
by Gentlemen (Arg). O-Harry T Rosenblum; B-Juvenal
Diaz (FL); T-Ron Moquett. $40,000.
Margins: 2, NK, NK. Odds: 3.15, 6.10, 2.00.
Also Ran: Delaunay, Caixa Eletronica.Click for the brisnet.com chart, the brisnet.com PPs or the free brisnet.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO.
Graded stakes veteran Justin Phillip finally locked down an elusive Grade I victory in Sunday’s GI Alfred Vanderbilt H. after finishing second in last year’s rendition by a neck. The dark bay finished last season with a fifth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita and remained on the west coast to complete the GII Palos Verdes trifecta Jan. 19 and weaken to fifth in the GII San Carlos Feb. 23. He returned to form in a wet Oaklawn optional claimer Mar. 21 and closed to take the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. there Apr. 13. Most recently, he was runner-up behind fellow Zayat colorbearer Fast Bullet (Speightstown) in Belmont’s GII True North H. June 8 and finished fourth in Calder’s GII Smile Sprint H. July 9.
Slightly dismissed here, Justin Phillip was able to sit the perfect stalking trip as favored Delaunay (Smoke Glacken) and Gentleman’s Bet dueled for pacesetting responsibilities. The bay moved up to challenge by the three-sixteenths pole and, as that duo faded, was able to take the lead and finish comfortably in front of the grinding Bahamian Squall.
"Last year's Vanderbilt was a good opportunity for him, and I thought he was unfortunate not to win that day,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “For everything to work out, to have him in this position today--a good draw, a good set up--was very rewarding. I can't say enough about how much respect I have for Justin Phillip as a racehorse. He hasn't held any of the mistakes we made with him against us. We were trying to win the Derby with him when he was three! He has a lot of talent, and you want to get that done. For him to travel as much as he has, run as fast as he has, and probably put up his best race today--1:08 2/5 in a Grade I, put him over a million dollars--it's very rewarding."
"It was very good,” pilot Johnny Velazquez said of the ride. “The speed developed the way I expected it would. I was right behind those two horses [Gentlemen's Bet and Delaunay], and I was aware of the horse that was inside [Bahamian Squall], so I kind of got him pinned down inside there. I made my move around the three-sixteenths pole, and he responded. When you ride these kinds of horses, and they respond to the things you want to do, it makes me look good."
Tom Amoss, who trains fourth-place finisher Delaunay commented, "I thought he broke sharp and had very good position. They were going fast, but he's used to that. When he hadn't separated himself from the field by the eighth pole, I knew we were in trouble. I'm going to give him a little time. His last two races weren't good and he's telling us something."
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