When it comes to turf racing, there is no doubt that the
Europeans frequently strut their stuff and run all over their American
counterparts. Such was not the case today in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational as Minorette, a Kentucky-bred that began her career in Ireland before
shipping back to the States, made a bold late move to pull away late in the
Away in good order, Minorette settled in third, patiently
tracking front running Sea Queen and
Wonderfully. With a comfortable lead, Sea Queen clicked off easy fractions,
getting the quarter in 24:87 and the half in an undemanding 50:14. She
continued to have things all her own way through the one mile call, putting up
three-quarters in 1.14:57 and the mile in a slow 1.38:02.
While Sea Queen raced unpressured on the front end, the rest
of the field was content to string out behind her. Post time favorite Room Service and her partner in crime Rosalind raced through the early going
in last and second last respectively. Second betting choice (first among the
Euros) Xcellence also trailed early.
While the speed held on the front end, this trio all put in mild bids, most of
which nowhere, the exception being the overseas invader.
Approaching the quarter pole, Wonderfully put in a serious
attempt for the lead, but her run was repelled by Sea Queen. Minorette, who had
sat third throughout the race, took the second shot at the leader, finally
getting past Sea Queen inside the final 100 yards. Sea Queen held second, and
Summer Solo closed from mid-field to nab third. Xcellence, the Europeans’ best
hope, could only manage fourth. The order of finish was completed by
Wonderfully, Goldy Espony, Room Service, Flying Jib, Rosalind and Recepta.
Minorette completed the 1 ¼ mile Belmont Oaks in 2.01:64.
Off odds of 6-1, the 4th betting choice, the daughter of Smart
Strike returned $14.60/$6.30/$5.50. Sea Queen (9-1) paid $9.60/6.80, and Summer
Solo (34-1) rewarded her backers with $11.60 for a show bet. The $2 exacta
returned $106, the $2 trifecta paid $2,005.00, and the $2 superfecta was worth
By Smart Strike and out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Silk and
Scarlet, Minorette improved her record to 7: 2-1-2, recording her first win
since breaking her maiden at Naas on July 10, 2013. In winning today, she
turned the tables on Sea Queen who had beaten her in their last start, the 1
1/8 mile Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont. The $535,000 winner’s share of the $1
million purse pushed the filly’s total career earnings to $603,774. By virtue of this victory, Minorette also earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Owned by Coolmore Partners Mrs. John Magnier,
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Minorette was saddled by Chad Brown and ridden
to victory by Joel Rosario. Now a Grade 1 winner herself, the Belmont Oaks
winner continued the success of dam Silk and Scarlet as a broodmare. The mare
also produced Grade 1 winners Master of Hounds and Eishin Apollon.
Master of Hounds earned his Group 1 winner status in the United Arab Emirates,
whereas Eishin Apollon earned his Group 1 victory in Japan. With Minorette
becoming a Grade 1 winner in the United States, that gives Silk and Scarlet
Grade/Group 1 winners on three different continents.