Expensive War Front Firster Takes Belmont Lid-Lifter

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Zainalarab | Chelsea Durand

1st-Belmont, $63,000, Msw, 9-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:12.01, ft.
ZAINALARAB (f, 2, War Front–Delightful Joy {GSW, $179,200}, by Tapit), whose $1-million purchase price out of last year’s Keeneland September sale was the second-highest for her hugely successful stallion, got the Belmont fall meet off on a chalky note, grinding her way past her chief market rival Exact (Competitive Edge) for a narrow victory. Allowed to sit the box-seat trip as Exact made the running in advance of the blinkered Jade Empress (Shanghai Bobby), Zainalarab was pulled off the fence in upper stretch by Javier Castellano, drew alongside the pacesetter with a sixteenth of a mile to travel and inched clear to take it by 1 1/2 lengths as the 11-10 favorite. The winner has a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister who was consigned to, but withdrawn from the opening day of this year’s KEESEP sale this past Sunday, as well as a foal half-sister by American Pharoah. Delightful Joy, the 2015 GIII Monmouth Oaks winner, was a $700,000 purchase out of the 2017 Keeneland January Sale, and was most recently covered by Curlin.  Zainalarab was scheduled to make her debut at Saratoga Aug. 29, but was scratched–along with stablemate Always Carina (Malibu Moon)–when a torrential rainstorm rendered the track sloppy. Sales history: $1,000,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $34,650. Click for the Equibase.com chart orVIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Shadwell Stable; B-International Equities Holding Inc (KY); T-Chad C Brown.

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