Vekoma Rows Home Champion of the Carter
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
ELMONT, NY - R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables' Vekoma perfectly paddled his way through the slop and rowed his way home to champion Saturday's $250,000 Runhappy Carter Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park.
The Carter is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Vekoma receiving an automatic berth in the Sprint at Keeneland this November. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Breaking sharply from the far outside post under Javier Castellano as the 8/5 favorite, Vekoma went straight to the front and cleared all but one of his inside rivals. Only American Anthem was able to beat the bettors' choice to the punch, as he ran inside of Vekoma through opening fractions of :22.38 and :45.02.
Castellano allowed Vekoma to settle just off of the early pace and waited until midway through the far turn to make his move. Sweeping past American Anthem near the top of the stretch, Vekoma drew off strongly under a hand ride, pouring it on late much like the rain that fell from overhead.
The George Weaver trainee completed the 7-furlong sloppy main track sprint in a final time of 1:21.02 while crossing 7 1/4 lengths clear of his competition.
Network Effect surpassed American Anthem in deep stretch to take second by 1 1/4 lengths, while Firenze Fire nipped Nitrous by a neck for fourth. Mind Control's win streak snapped at three after he faded in the far turn before crossing sixth ahead of Bon Raison.
Still Having Fun completed the order of finish in a field that had three scratches: Performer, Midnightcharly, and Majestic Dunhill.
Vekoma's win was his second straight after he won the 7-furlong Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his 2020 debut. The 4-year-old Candy Ride colt - winner of the Nashua Stakes (G3) at 2 and the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at 3 - improved his record to 7-5-0-1 with $970,525 earned.
Vekoma returned $5.30 to win, $3.30 to place, and $2.70 to show. Network Effect brought back $3.90 to place and $3 to show, while American Anthem paid $5.70 to show.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to https://www.RacingDudes.com
- September 25, 2021
Royal Patronage Scores in Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Earns Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Royal Patronage (FR) landed a thrilling Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket, securing his guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
- September 24, 2021
This is the fourth of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- September 24, 2021
Masekela Heads to Newmarket for Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Mick and Janice Mariscotti’s Masekela (IRE) heads a field of seven in Saturday’s Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket.