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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Justin Phillip Pounces in the Vanderbilt


While the two race favorites, Gentlemen’s Bet and Delaunay were ding-donging it through testing early fractions, Justin Phillip and Saratoga’s all-time winningest rider, John Velazquez were more than content to sit back in the catbird seat of the $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt. And when the real running begun inside the Saratoga quarter pole, the dark bay horse was ready to roll on the pair’s outside. None the worse for wear from the intense :22 and :44.46 flashing on the toteboard, Justin Phillip wore down the still dueling leaders, before pulling clear late to earn his first grade 1 win by two lengths.

Not only was today’s victory his first of the grade 1 variety, but it also allowed him to become racing’s newest millionaire. The five-year-old son of First Samurai raised his lifetime record to 29-7-5-7, while winning his second graded stakes sprint of the season. Three races back, he accounted for the Count Fleet at Oaklawn Park, and also at six furlongs. He had since finished 2nd and 4th respectively in the True North and the Smile Handicap, but was far from disgracing himself in either effort. 

This afternoon it was all about the Zayat Stables runner, though, as he proved more than able to take advantage of the favorable race and pace scenario. Off as the 3-1 third choice, Justin Phillip paid $8.30 for the win. Final time for the six panels over the fast main track at Saratoga was a snappy 1:08.59, and is further proof of the overall quality of the small Vanderbilt field. Bahamian Squall closed strongly on the outside, after lacking room early in the stretch, to win a three-horse photo over Gentlemen’s Bet and Delaunay for the place.


Winning trainer, Steve Asmussen reflected on today's win, as well as, a narrow loss in the 2012 edition of the Vanderbilt, "Last year's Vanderbilt was a good opportunity for him, and I thought he was unfortunate not to win that day. For everything to work out, to have him in this position today - a good draw, a good set up - was very rewarding. I can't say enough about how much respect I have for Justin Phillip as a racehorse. He hasn't held any of the mistakes we made with him against us. We were trying to win the Derby with him when he was 3. He has a lot of talent, and you want to get that done. For him to travel as much as he has, run as fast as he has, and probably put up his best race today - 1:08 2/5 in a Grade 1, put him over a million dollars - it's very rewarding." 

The win pushes Justin Philip back towards the top of a deep American sprint division, and in fact, while there are many solid and talented sprint specialists out there, the top four in the Vanderbilt all fit with the best in the nation. It should come as no surprise at all to see all four lining up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint starting gate in three months. 


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Older Comments about Justin Phillip Pounces in the Vanderbilt...

Left plenty of time to make a T-shirt, eh?
Looking at this contest in relation to the very biased early race course, it took about 10 seconds to call the winner: the only true early in the bunch.
Dr; Karl Propper's work should be read by more people who continue this ridiculous cause and effect correlation that is without a big of evidence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability
Fabrication of cause and effect AFTER the event without a shred of evidence one way or the other is at the HEART of the narrative FALLACY. QUOTE: The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship upon them. Explanations bind facts together. They make them all the more easily remembered; they help them make more sense. Where this propensity can go wrong is when it increases our impression of understanding.
News Alert: According to HRN expert handicapper, Johnny V and Luis Saez have no idea what the talking about, the jockey decisions don't affect the outcome: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/79864/vanderbilt-proves-justin-phillips-class
akin to many of the polucrap monsters leaving the Keeneland meetings that are never heard from (at least on the main course) again.
consistent effort and talent meet complimentary racing surface=smashing sucess
Career best 109 BSF for JP in the Vandy.
Guess I should add why. To me, Justin Phillip is one of those that with the very short careers of others, seems to have been around "forever", so we have at least gotten to know him. Not only that, but sure, I make excuses for favorites, and I'd say he's a moderate fav of mine, but he has had some "bad luck" , occasionally bad starts, and I do think he's missed out on several graded stakes wins he could have certainly gotten if not for just a little something going wrong.
Nice to see Justin Phillip get a grade 1 win.
the HORSE not the rider won the race
The way that track has been running, put extra credit to an early monster like this one. I touted this one all day: :Who can stay with him," was my mantra
I am thrilled to see Justin Phillip earn Grade 1 status. I've always liked him. EP Taylor, Bahamian Squall shipped to Saratoga from Calder via Gulfstream, which was where his last published work was.
Did Bahamaian Squall ship up from Calder?. If so those Summit of Speed horses are carrying their form to other tracks nicely.
I thought Johnny V. did a great job keeping Bahamian Squall on the rail, forcing him to swing out wide in the stretch delaying his big move just enough.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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