Even-money favorite Beren broke sharp from the innermost post and never wavered in the May 30, $93,000 Paradise Creek Stakes, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds moved off the turf at Belmont Park. He posted a gate-to-wire 10 3/4-length win against a pared-down four-horse field.
Trainer Butch Reid Jr. said he was looking forward to trying Beren on turf after the colt’s nose triumph in the Gold Fever Stakes over Belmont’s Big Sandy May 9. However, the Paradise Creek, originally slated for the Widener turf course, was moved to the sloppy and sealed main track as heavy rain continued throughout the day.
Beren, owned and bred by Susan Quick and Christopher Feifarek, was slated to make his turf debut after posting three wins and two runner-up efforts in eight starts on the main track entering Sunday. The weather postponed those plans for a surface change, but the Weigelia colt thrived in the conditions, leading through the opening quarter-mile in :22.80 and the half in :45.64.
Under jockey Eric Cancel, the Pennsylvania-bred Beren opened up when turning for home, cruising to a double-digit length victory in a final time of 1:23.12.
“I didn’t want a soft turf, so I was really glad this morning when they took it off,” Reid said. “Everybody by Weigelia loves the slop. I’ve had a bunch of them and every single one of them runs in the slop. It’s one thing they do have in common besides being very solid horses.
“He stumbled bad in the Bay Shore (G3) and last time (in the Gold Fever) he hesitated a little bit and Manny (Franco) did a great job to get him to the outside,” Reid continued. “Eric said this time he was standing and focused. I said to him, ‘If he’s ready to go, let him go and see what happens.'”
Beren returned $4 on a $2 win bet and improved his record to 4-2-0 from nine career starts with earnings of $215,420.
“(Reid) told me to ride him comfortably and that he had some speed, but if the other horse that showed speed wanted to go crazy, just sit off him,” Cancel said. “My horse broke very sharply, so I took all the advantage. He ran one time on the muddy track and won. He loved it. Coming into the race, I had a lot of confidence in him and everything worked out well.”
Beren was produced from the Diamond mare Silmaril , a multiple grade 3 winner and millionaire who is dam of five winners from seven starters. Silmaril foaled a full brother to Beren on March 5.