Giant Ryan had won five straight races –
including the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap, a “Win and You’re
In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint – but that didn’t
command him much respect heading into the Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh
Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Sent off at odds of 12-1 in the field of eight, Giant Ryan shot
straight to the front when the gate opened, set a pressured pace through a blazing
half-mile in 44.36 seconds, and held off the persistent Force Freeze in the
lane to win by a half-length.
Owned by Shivananda Parbhoo and trained by his father, Bisnath Parboo,
Giant Ryan ran the six-furlong race – also a “Win and You’re
In” race on “Super Saturday” at Belmont – in 1:09.10 on a track labeled
The 5-year-old New York-bred son of Freud paid $26.40 for a $2 win bet.
“Yes, we will,” Bisnath Parboo answered when asked if he
would pay the $100,000 supplemental nomination fee needed to get into the
Breeders’ Cup on November 5 at Churchill Downs.
The race provided another disappointment for even-money favorite Trappe
Shot, who finished fourth after being bumped at the start, racing wide and
failing to reach the leaders in the lane.
“We got squeezed a little bit at the break,” Trappe
Shot’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “Basically, [jockey John
Velazquez] said they weren’t coming back. Speed held up. He didn’t
run that bad. When you’re even money, it’s disappointing.”
Giant Ryan had been a moderately successful runner until coming to life
March 4 with a 2 1/2-length score on the Aqueduct inner track. He then won a
stakes for New York-breds at Aqueduct, an optional claimer at Belmont, the
Ponche Handicap at Calder and the Grade 2 Smile Sprint.
In each of the starts, Giant Ryan raced close to the pace, but in the
Vosburgh he went to the front.
“My horse likes the sloppy track,” said jockey Cornelio
Velasquez. “He broke fast and wanted to go to the lead. I had a lot of
horse at the top of the stretch. It’s been a long time since he ran, but
he tries hard every time.”
Runner-up Force Freeze was followed home by late-running Caixa
Eletronica, Trappe Shot, Calibrachoa, Justin Phillip, Apriority and Euroears.
Giant Ryan now has won eight of 14 lifetime starts and the Vosburgh
winning purse of $210,000 boosted his lifetime earnings to $626,841.
Shivananda Parbhoo said Giant Ryan had been off since the Smile on July
9 only because he had raced a lot and needed a rest. Now he is ready for the
“This is his home track; he loves Belmont Park,”
he said. “I will keep him here [at Belmont]
for a week or two and then he will ship directly to Churchill Downs. He will
leave three weeks before the Breeders’ Cup. This was to see if he could
compete with the best horses.”