Teofilo's Nations Pride Gets the Trip to Capture Saratoga Derby

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Nations Pride | Sarah Andrew

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Nations Pride (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), the beaten favorite with a wide trip four weeks ago in the GI Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational S., worked out a much cozier voyage Saturday under William Buick to annex the GI Saratoga Derby Invitational S.

Graduating by 4 3/4 lengths at second asking over the Lingfield all-weather last October, the Godolphin homebred reeled off three more open-lengths tallies culminating with a seven-length rout in the Newmarket S. Apr. 29. Disappointing some when finishing a distant eighth in the G1 Cazoo Derby June 4 at Epsom, he finished full of run before coming up three-quarters of a length short in second to 26-1 upsetter Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway) in the July 9 Belmont Derby.

Breaking a beat slowly as the narrow favorite once again Saturday, Nations Pride was smartly sent through a narrow early opening by Buick to gain position as Classic Causeway went clear going past the stands the first time and found a perfect spot by the time the field bent into the first turn, stalking from the pocket in third. Tipping off the rail around the quarter pole, the blaze-faced bay charged past Classic Causeway inside the furlong marker and finished up smartly to win comfortably by 1 3/4 lengths in the end. Second choice Annapolis (War Front) edged out Classic Causeway for second on the wire.

“I came in yesterday and saw them train this morning [Nations Pride and filly With The Moonlight, who starts in Sunday's G3 Saratoga Oaks] and as a physical, I think they've done very well. The style of training [both recorded four breezes in an 11-day span], they've adapted to it,” said winning trainer Charlie Appleby. “On the back of Belmont, they were a touch unlucky. He was a bit slow from the gate there and had that wider trip around. It was a little bit messy, but that was by the by. We came in today confident that if we could just get him to break a bit quicker and William could get him up in behind the pace that we felt he was the right horse in the race and could go on and get the job done. It was a great ride by William.”

“He was drawn 10 at Belmont and he jumped a step slow, which he did today as well,” added Buick. “From the four gate, I managed to go to the inside and get him into a good spot and he did the rest from then on really. I expected them to go faster, but I also had in the back of my head that the horse that made the run in the Belmont race [Classic Causeway] would want to be doing the same again today. Once I saw that I knew Julien [Leparoux, aboard Classic Causeway] wasn't going to go too fas, I was happy where I was. I knew there were a couple closers in the race, but I knew my horse would stay well and the way that rain took the speed out of the track a little bit, so I was confident that my horse would stay well and hit the line well.”

Nations Pride was the first mount at Saratoga for Buick, who appreciated the occasion and the company kept in the track's star-studded jockeys' room.

“I'm very privileged to be able to come over here and ride these horses,” the 34-year-old said. “I've been riding a lot in the States on and off the last few years and I love it. The jockey colony over here is something really special. To be in that jocks' room today with all the superstars was fantastic and great to be part of it. I've never been to Saratoga before. This is my first ride. I've watched plenty of races here and last year we couldn't travel here, so when Charlie asked me to come and ride these horses, it was great to get that call.”

Pedigree Notes:

With the victory, Nations Pride is now the 59th graded/group stakes winner and 23rd Grade I/Group 1, as well as the first Stateside top-level scorer for the 18-year-old Kildangan Stud stalwart. His second dam Satwa Queen (Fr) was a five-time group winner in France and half-sister to G1SW Spadoun (Fr) (Kaldoun {Fr}) whose crowning achievement was a victory in the 2007 G1 Prix de l'Opera. Important Time, a minor stakes winner in Germany in 2015, has a yearling filly by Dark Angel (Ire) and produced a full-sister to the winner Mar. 8.

Saturday, Saratoga
CAESARS SARATOGA DERBY INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $1,000,000, Saratoga, 8-6, 3yo, 1 3/16mT, :00.00, fm.
1–NATIONS PRIDE (IRE), 122, c, 3, by Teofilo (Ire)
                1st Dam: Important Time (Ire) (SW-Ger), by Oasis Dream (GB)
                2nd Dam: Satwa Queen (Fr), by Muhtathir (GB)
                3rd Dam: Tolga, by Irish River (Fr)
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. O-Godolphin, LLC; B-Godolphin (Ire); T-Charles Appleby; J-William T. Buick. $535,000. Lifetime Record: 8-5-2-0, $899,216. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Annapolis, 122, c, 3, War Front–My Miss Sophia, by Unbridled's Song. 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O-Bass Racing, LLC; B-Bass Stables, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $185,000.
3–Classic Causeway, 122, c, 3, Giant's Causeway–Private World, by Thunder Gulch. O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $100,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, HD, 1. Odds: 2.10, 2.90, 5.90.
Also Ran: Sy Dog, Stone Age (Ire), Royal Patronage (Fr), Main Event, Grand Sonata, Ethereal Road, Emmanuel. Scratched: Stolen Base.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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