The uber-talented Decorated Invader returned to the scene of his graduation last summer to earn his third graded victory from as many tries this season. He was reined in to sit second as Get Smokin zipped to the front and opened up a double-digit advantage. The favorite began to creep closer after six panels in 1:13.52, and looked to have the frontrunner in his sights as they straightened for home. Get Smokin wasn't done yet, and offered up some resistance to midstretch, but Decorated Invader found more in reserves and edged away as previously two-for-two Chad Brown trainee Domestic Spending finished fast to just miss second.
“When I got to the horse on the lead [Get Smokin] turning for home, he kept running a little bit,” said rider Joel Rosario, who took over on Decorated Invader at the beginning of the year. “He had been all alone on the lead but I could feel I had a lot of horse underneath me and he was moving much the best.
“I thought I would be a little closer, but the other horse was off the rail and in the middle of the track. I followed him for a little bit. but I ended up letting my horse be comfortable. I took my time and made my move when it was the right time to move.”
A convincing second-out winner last August, the bay handled yielding turf just fine to take Woodbine's GI Summer S. Sept. 15. Well supported at 3-1 for the Nov. 1 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, he was shuffled back down the backside and then came with a sweeping, very wide rally to be fourth. Decorate Invader resurfaced to defeat a group that included Get Smokin in Gulfstream's Mar. 28 Cutler Bay S., and dominated his five foes in the GII Pennine Ridge S. at Belmont June 20.
“He's a top-class horse and has been since Day One for me,” said trainer Christophe Clement, who unveiled impressive 'TDN Rising Star'-earning juvenile Momos (Distorted Humor) earlier on the card. “I love him. I love the way he trains. I love the way he races. It's a different scenario every time we run him, but the final outcome is the same. That's what good horses do, they win. They win more often than the others.”
Clement said the $500,000 Saratoga Derby Aug. 15 could be up next for Decorated Invader: “That is one of the targets. We'll have to see how he comes out of this and see how he trains, but that's a logical spot at the moment.”
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RACING HALL OF FAME S.-GII, $145,500, Saratoga, 7-18, 3yo, 1 1/8mT, 1:49.29, fm.
1–DECORATED INVADER, 124, c, 3, by Declaration of War
1st Dam: Gamely Girl, by Arch
2nd Dam: Helstra, by Nureyev
3rd Dam: Hail Atlantis, by Seattle Slew
($200,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-West Point Thoroughbreds, William T Freeman, William Sandbrook & Cheryl Manning; B-Redmon Farm LLC (KY); T-Christophe Clement; J-Joel Rosario. $82,500. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-5-1-0, $453,035. *1/2 to Jubliant Girl (Henrythenavigator), SW, $107,067. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ * Triple Plus*.
2–Get Smokin, 120, g, 3, Get Stormy–Hookah Lady, by Smoke Glacken. ($11,000 Ylg '18 FTKOCT). O-Mary Abeel Sullivan Revocable Trust; B-Hurstland Farm Inc & James Greene Jr (KY); T-Thomas M. Bush. $30,000.
3–Domestic Spending (GB), 120, g, 3, Kingman (GB)–Urban Castle, by Street Cry (Ire). (300,000gns Ylg '18 TATOCT). O-Klaravich Stables Inc; B-Rabbah Bloodstock Limited (GB); T-Chad C Brown. $18,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, NO, 3/4. Odds: 0.40, 8.60, 2.60.
Also Ran: Moon Over Miami, Ever Dangerous. Scratched: Gufo, Money Moves. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
Decorated Invader is one of 27 stakes winners and 16 graded winners for his expatriated sire Declaration of War–his stablemate Gufo, who was scratched from this race, became number 27 after taking Delaware's GIII Kent S. July 4. Decorated Invader's dam Gamely Girl had a Violence colt in 2019, who died, and a Distorted Humor filly this term. She was bred back to Declaration of War's sire War Front for 2021. The winner hails from the family of SW and good turf sire Stormy Atlantic (Storm Cat) and Grade I winner Bandini (Fusaichi Pegasus).