Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Sport Model handled a class boost with aplomb, taking command at the top of the stretch and drawing off to a half-length victory in Saturday’s $150,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Cupecoy’s Joy division over the Widener turf course at Belmont Park in Elmont, Ny.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the daughter of Freud arrived at the seven-furlong test for eligible New York-sired sophomore fillies off a third-out maiden victory for a $40,000 tag going six furlongs over the Widener on May 7.
Expertly piloted by Luis Saez, Sport Model tracked to the outside, just behind last-out stakes winner Shaker Shack, who produced fractions of :23.22 and :46.15 over the firm turf.
Saez gave Sport Model her cue late in the turn and overtook Shaker Shack just inside the quarter-pole. Funwhileitlasted launched a menacing bid in the final furlong, but Sport Model prevailed in a final time of 1:21.16. It was another 1½ lengths back to Shaker Shack, who held on for third.
Completing the order of finish were Shesadirtydancer, Big Time Lady, Show Me the Honey, Lot of Honey, Adriatic Rose, Ava’s Grace, and Proper Grammar.
“She’s progressing. She was very good today,” said Saez, who also rode Lady Joan to victory in the 2017 Cupecoy’s Joy. “I needed the pony going out because she’s so strong. I knew I had a lot of horse, and, when we got to the top of the stretch, she just took off. She was battling. When she felt the pressure coming, she gave me another gear.”
Clement, who also saddled last-place finisher Proper Grammar, praised Saez for a picture-perfect ride.
“I liked both fillies going in, but obviously one was very disappointing and the other ran very well,” said Clement, who earned his third stakes triumph of the Belmont spring/summer meet. “Luis gave her a great ride. He was always very comfortable, and she was the best horse today, which is nice.”
Clement said the $150,000 NYSSS Statue of Liberty, a one-mile turf test for sophomore fillies on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, Ny. will likely be Sport Model’s next task.
Sport Model, who returned $14.60 for a $2 win wager, was bred in the Empire State by Mr. and Mrs. James P. Curran and Dr. and Mrs. John McDermott. She is out of the black-type producing Rockport Harbor mare Just Say Hey and is a half-sibling to stakes-winner Twirling Devon. Sport Model was purchased for $100,000 from Thorndale Farm’s consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at Belmont with a 10-race program headlined by the Grade 3, $250,000 Poker going one mile over the Widener turf course for older horses. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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