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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Undrafted Undeterred to Win Jaipur

Undrafted closed with a flourish to capture his first graded stakes the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Trained by Wesley Ward for NFL wide receiver Wes Welker, Undrafted broke well under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez and assumed his position in midpack as 60-1 longshot Global Power led the field through blazing fractions of 21.84 seconds for an opening quarter-mile and 44.47 for a half.

Turning for home, Velazquez wheeled Undrafted into the clear, and the chestnut gelding inhaled the frontrunners, going on to prevail by 1 ½ lengths.

"Perfect trip," said Velazquez. "We broke in decent position; we wanted to be in the middle of the pack, somewhere where he was comfortable. I got him out at the quarter pole and he came running well after. He did it real easy. Once he got in the clear in the stretch, he had a nice pick up. It was awesome."

Undrafted - second to Marchman on the Kentucky Derby undercard in the five-furlong, Grade 3 Turf Sprint - took full advantage of the extra furlong of the Jaipur, running down Marchman in the waning stages of the race. The son of Purim completed the distance in a sensational 1:07.24.

"He ran fantastic," said Ward. "He ran beautiful. I was really happy. I thought [Velazquez] rode him perfectly. I told him to be a cool-sitter and a go-getter."

Undrafted enhanced his career bankroll to $362,040 and returned $11.60 on a $2 win wager.

Marchman and Global Power, who carved out the early pace, held on to be second and third, respectively, while it was a neck back to 2-1 favorite Ben's Cat in fourth.

"It wasn't a good trip," said King Leatherbury, trainer of Ben's Cat. "He did right, but then he got trapped and he couldn't finish his normal finish."

Ben's Cat, a winner of 26 races in his career, finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Upgrade. Anyriderill Do, Salto, Positive Side and Spring to the Sky rounded out the order of finish.

 

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