Rockefeller went wire-to-wire to win the GIII Nashua S. at Belmont Park Sunday. The bay colt, sent off at 4-5, sprinted out to the early lead and was pressed by Speaking (Mr Speaker) through a quarter in :23.02 and a half in :46.75. Cooke Creek rolled up four wide to challenge entering the lane, but the favorite shrugged off that foe in upper stretch and scampered clear to an authoritative victory.
“I knew the other horses would break from there running, but we have a lot of speed, so Bob [Baffert] told me to break from there and send him and see if they can keep with us,” said winning jockey Luis Saez, who was riding Rockefeller for the first time. “That was the plan, to break from there running. He kept at it. He's a very talented horse. He's still learning but he has a lot of talent. I think he's going to be a nice horse. It was great to get the mount.”
A front-running debut winner sprinting six furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 28, Rockefeller was coming off a fourth-place effort behind Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Corniche (Quality Road) in the Oct. 1 GI American Pharoah S.
Rockefeller is a son of 2013 GI Ballerina S. winner Dance to Bristol. The mare has a yearling colt by Candy Ride (Arg)–who sold for $400,000 to Mike Ryan at this year's Keeneland September sale–and a weanling filly by Into Mischief.
Sunday, Belmont Park
NASHUA S.-GIII, $150,000, Belmont, 11-7, 2yo, 1m, 1:36.66, ft.
1–ROCKEFELLER, 118, c, 2, by Medaglia d'Oro
1st Dam: Dance to Bristol (GISW, $980,880),
2nd Dam: Dance to Dawn, by Louis Quatorze
3rd Dam: Expressive Dance, by Riva Ridge
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($750,000
Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket
Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC and Robert E. Masterson;
B-Colts Neck Stables LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Luis Saez.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0, $142,500. Werk Nick
Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Cooke Creek, 120, c, 2, Uncle Mo–Genre, by Bernardini.
O-Cheyenne Stable LLC; B-Candy Meadows LLC (KY);
T-Jeremiah O'Dwyer. $30,000.
3–Judge Davis, 118, c, 2, Distorted Humor–Mylitta, by Sky
Mesa. ($280,000 Ylg '20 FTKSEL). O-Courtlandt Farms (Donald
& Donna Adam); B-Edward A. Seltzer (KY); T-Claude R.
McGaughey III. $18,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 2 3/4, 2 3/4. Odds: 0.80, 9.20, 3.80.
Also Ran: Midnight Worker, Cairama, Speaking.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.