Decorated Invader rallies for Breeders' Cup spot in Woodbine's Summer

September 15, 2019 04:35pm

Decorated Invader lived up to his name Sunday, shipping into Woodbine from New York to take the Grade 1, $250,000 Summer Stakes, a “Win and You’re In” race toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The Christophe Clement trainee was off slowly over a yielding turf surface and sat mid-pack into the far turn. But he uncorked a winning rally down the center of the track under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to complete the one-turn mile in a final time of 1:36.34.

Running in the West Point Thoroughbreds silks and, notably, Lasix-free, Decorated Invader was well-backed as a 2-1 co-favorite with Mystic Lancelot, who ran closer to the pace and missed the board.

“I know he broke a touch poorly, but you know what, with the rain we had and everything, he was pretty comfortable and he was moving well,” said Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement.


Lorieul indicated a trip to the Breeders’ Cup is “an obvious next target” for Decorated Invader.

Cadet Connelly, a 99-1 shot who was keen to go through opening fractions of 24.26 and 48.43 seconds, held on in a three-way photo for the runner-up spot. Vitalogy was third and Proven Strategies fourth.

"We were just looking for him to relax in the first part of the race and then let him run in the end,” Ortiz Jr. said of his winner. “We know he can run, so we just want to relax him and teach him the first part.”

The Summer, in addition to serving as a proving ground for the Breeders’ Cup, had a major impact on this year’s Triple Crown series with the eventual Preakness Stakes winner War of Will a runner-up in the 2018 renewal.

Decorated Invader, a son of Declaration of War, figures to remain on the lawn given his pedigree. The $200,000 yearling purchase made his third start Saturday, finishing second on debut at Saratoga before breaking his maiden second out by 3 1/4 lengths.

"He's only had three races, so I think he's getting better and better,” Ortiz Jr. said. “Today, I really liked the way he did it. He was floating in a little bit in the stretch, he always does, but hopefully he learns and if he just keeps a little more straight in the stretch that would be great. He keeps learning."


In addition to West Point, William Freeman and William Sandbrook campaign Decorated Invader.

 

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