GI Cigar Mile hero CONNECT (c, 4, Curlin–Bullville Belle, by Holy Bull) returned with an impressive victory in Belmont's GIII Westchester S. Saturday. Breezing a best-of-71 half-mile in :47 4/5 in Elmont Apr. 30, the 1-2 chalk saved ground in fifth as GISW Greenpointcrusader (Bernardini) set a moderate early tempo. Ranging up on the backstretch, the $150,000 FTKJUL grad took control at the top of the stretch and rolled clear to a five-length success in 1:36.49. 20-1 shot Virtual Machine (Drosselmeyer) was the only one with in shouting distance in second and it was a long way back to third-place finisher Frammento (Midshipman). Connect will stand at Lane's End Farm at the end of his racing career. Winner of last term's Curlin S. at Saratoga, Connect could only manage sixth behind a powerhouse performance from Arrogate (Unbridled's Song) in the GI Travers S. there in August. Rebounding with a win in the GII Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 24, he won by a head when last seen in Aqueduct's Cigar Mile Nov. 26.
Saturday, Belmont Park
WESTCHESTER S.-GIII, $200,000, BEL, 5-6, 4yo/up, 1m, 1:36.49, ft.
1–CONNECT, 123, c, 4, by Curlin
1st Dam: Bullville Belle, by Holy Bull
2nd Dam: Barkerville Belle, by Ruthie's Native
3rd Dam: Celebrity Belle, by Star Envoy
($150,000 Ylg '14 FTKJUL). O-Paul P Pompa, Jr; B-Fox Straus KY
(KY); T-Chad C Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: GISW, 8-6-0-1, $1,370,000.*1/2 to Tani Maru
(Cherokee Run), MSW, $223,515. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
2–Virtual Machine, 117, c, 4, Drosselmeyer–Critikal Reason, by
Aptitude. ($100,000 wlg '13 KEENOV; $65,000 ylg '14 KEESEP).
O-Serjeant Equine; B-Farfellow Farms Ltd. (KY); T-David A
Cannizzo. $40,000.3–Frammento, 117, g, 5, Midshipman–Ginger Bay, by Golden
Missile. ($50,000 Wlg '12 KEENOV; $85,000 ylg '13 FTKJUL;
$260,000 2yo '14 FTFMAR). O-Mossarosa; B-Oliver S Tait (KY);
T-Nicholas P. Zito. $20,000.Margins: 4 3/4, 8 3/4, HF. Odds: 0.50, 20.40, 60.00.
Also Ran: Mohaymen, Realm, Greenpointcrusader, Vorticity.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.