Flintshire Dominates Sword Dancer

August 29, 2015 03:41pm
Flintshire wins 2015 Sword Dancer
Photo: Adam Mooshian/NYRA
Juddmonte Farms' Flintshire lived up to his hype at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday afternoon, drawing clear of a viable group of older turf contenders by 2 ½ lengths in the Grade 1, $1 million Sword Dancer, a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland this fall.

A two-time runner-up to European champion mare Treve, the British-bred Flintshire was sent off as the even money favorite for trainer Andre Fabre. The Dansili horse settled off an early pace set by fellow Euro invader Guardini, who led the field of eight through an opening quarter-mile in 24 seconds and a half-mile in 45.10 seconds. Flintshire, ridden by Vincent Cheminaud, edged closer to the leader in the final turn, who clocked a mile in 1:37.66.

Flintshire cut the corner turning for home, effortlessly put away the front runner and held off a late challenge from Red Rifle with ease to complete the 1 ½-mile route on a firm inner turf course in 2:23.77.

The winner returned $4.00 for a $2 win wager.

"He was a little bit slow," said Cheminaud. "Andre [Fabre], the trainer, said to keep to his position and to remain calm and that he has a good turn a foot. The horse was in good position and quickened well for him to go through the gap."

A homebred for Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, Flintshire improves his lifetime record to five wins, eight seconds and a third from 17 starts and the $535,000 winner's share of the Sword Dancer purse boosts the 5-year-old's career earnings to more than $5.8 million.

"He's a remarkable horse," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Juddmonte. "He's just so unbelievably consistent. He's traveled the world, he' s won in Hong Kong, he's raced in Dubai and now he's won here, he's a remarkable horse."

Red Rifle was 3 ¼ lengths ahead of Twilight Eclipse in third. War Dancer was fourth, another nine lengths back. Fixador, Imagining, Messi and Guardini completed the order of finish.

Source: NYRA Communications (Heather Pettinger)


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