Bobby Zen

In a sit-sprint race that turned out to be a tactical affair, Trikari (Oscar Performance), the lesser-preferred half of an uncoupled, Amerman Racing-owned entry with 8-5 second choice Endlessly (Oscar Performance), sat handy to a sluggish pace, engaged long-time leader White Palomino (Kitten’s Joy) at the furlong grounds and just held off a late re-rally from the pace-advantaged front-runner to take Saturday’s GI Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Aqueduct.

Two-back winner of the May 4 GII American Turf Stakes–at cricket-score odds–and exiting a game third in the GIII Penn Mile Stakes 27 days later, Trikari jumped straight into the bridle for John Velazquez and took up a stalking role from second, as White Palomino enjoyed a very soft time of things on top through splits of :25 flat and :50.24. Narrowly favored Legend of Time (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) enjoyed the run of the race from third beneath William Buick and was flanked all the way by Royal Majesty (GB) (Frankel {GB}), while Endlessly was ridden cold from the tail.

With positions unchanged down the back of the track, White Palomino was clicked up by Flavien Prat leaving the three-eighths pole and tried to win the race right then and there. The Chad Brown runner offered up a nice kick and held gamely into the final eighth of a mile, but was headed and passed by Trikari. The latter had a good half-length on White Palomino passing the sixteenth pole and was forced to survive a late dive for the victory.

Legend of Time was hemmed in at a critical stage by Royal Majesty and kicked on gamely, but too late. Endlessly had no rally when push came to shove in a race not run to suit and finished last of the five.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, winning trainer Graham Motion said the easy fractions did not necessarily play into the hands of Trikari.

“I think it would help him if they went on a little bit,”

said the trainer, saddling his first Grade I winner since Speaking Scout (Mr Speaker) won the Hollywood Derby in 2022. “At one point, right in front of us here, I thought Johnny [Velazquez] might choose to go on, but he made the right call, forcing Flavien to go on. That is what he wanted to do, settle off the pace.”

Motion indicated that Trikari would be strongly considered for the GI Saratoga Derby Invitational Aug. 3.

Of the beaten favorite, Buick said: “He had a good trip, it just never opened up for him. He still finished up full of horse, which was unfortunate. He ran really well and if he had gotten out sooner, it might have been a bit different. I was where I was, and that was it.”

Pedigree Notes:

Winner of the 2017 Belmont Derby for the Amermans and trainer Brian Lynch, Oscar Performance was being represented by his first winner at the elite level on Saturday.

On behalf of Augustin Stables, Graham Motion trained Trikari’s dam to four wins and earnings of better than $267,000, including the GIII Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream Park. A half-sister to GSWs Lift Up (Ghostzapper) and Varenka (Ghostzapper), SW & MGSP Appealing Cat (Successful Appeal) and a full to SW Cat’s Holiday, Dynamic Holiday was acquired by Michael Slezak for $14,000 carrying the foal that would become Trikari at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton February Sale. She is also the dam of the 2-year-old filly Miavana (Jimmy Creed) and a yearling colt by Beau Liam, and changed hands for $3,500 in foal to Mind Control during the Fasig-Tipton Digital October Sale last fall.


TRIKARI pulls out the win in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational with @ljlmvel aboard for @GrahamMotion!

— NYRA () (@TheNYRA) July 6, 2024

Saturday, Belmont The Big A
BELMONT DERBY INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $727,500, Belmont The Big A, 7-6, 3yo, 1 3/16mT, 1:54.71, fm.
1–TRIKARI, 122, c, 3, by Oscar Performance
                1st Dam: Dynamic Holiday (GSW, $267,126),
                                by Harlan’s Holiday
                2nd Dam: Dynamic Cat, by Dynaformer
                3rd Dam: Silent Cat, by Rahy
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($9,000 Ylg ’22 KEEJAN; $27,500 Ylg ’22
OBSOCT). O-Amerman Racing LLC; B-Michael A Slezak & Amy
Boll (KY); T-H. Graham Motion; J-John R. Velazquez. $412,500.
Lifetime Record: 7-4-1-1, $996,630. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–White Palomino, 122, r, 3, Kitten’s Joy–Wolf Gourmet,
by Flatter. 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O-James J. Bakke and Gerald
Isbister; B-Bakster Farms (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $150,000.
3–Legend of Time (GB), 122, c, 3, Sea The Stars (Ire)–Kissable
(Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire). 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE.
(150,000gns Ylg ’22 TATOCT). O-Godolphin, LLC; B-Lordship
Stud & Sunderland Holding Inc (GB); T-Charles Appleby.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, HF. Odds: 5.20, 5.20, 1.50.
Also Ran: Royal Majesty (GB), Endlessly.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

The post Oscar Performance’s Trikari Takes Home the Statue In Belmont Derby appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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