Annapolis is Outduels Portfolio Company to Capture G2 Pilgrim

October 3, 2021

Bass Racing’s homebred Annapolis outdueled Portfolio Company in a stirring stretch drive to capture Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Pilgrim going 1 1/16 miles for juveniles over the firm inner turf at Belmont Park. 

The Pilgrim has seen three of its last five winners go on to capture the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, including Oscar Performance [2016], Structor [2019] and Fire At Will [2020].

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Annapolis entered out of a stylish debut win on closing weekend at Saratoga Race Course, where he rallied from off-the-pace under returning rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Breaking from post 2 in a compact field of four, Annapolis sat second behind pacesetter Portfolio Company, who marked off splits of 24.34 seconds for the quarter-mile and 48.96 to the half-mile under Joel Rosario. At the half-mile pole, Ortiz, Jr. began to inch Annapolis closer to the leader and the two colts met up at the quarter pole after six furlongs in 1:14.46.

The front-running duo gained separation from their two competitors – Limited Liability [Jose Ortiz] and Doctor Jeff [Jose Lezcano] – and battled gamely to the wire. Annapolis needed every inch of ground to get by a stubborn Portfolio Company, putting his head on the wire in a final time of 1:41.04. 

“With only four horses, there wasn’t much speed in the race,” Ortiz, Jr. said, “I just broke well and tried to be close to the pace. I ended up second to the horse I had to try and beat, so I just went from there. He fought the whole way to the wire. The way he did it last time he looked like a nice horse, so we expected him to move forward and he did.”

Byron Hughes, Pletcher’s Belmont-based assistant, said he was pleased with how the race unfolded.

“He broke well and Irad had him in a great spot on the outside,” Hughes said. “It was a good duel down the stretch and he was able to get a head down at the wire.”

Rosario won five races on Saturday’s card at Churchill Downs, including Grade 3 scores with Knicks Go in the Lukas Classic and aboard Plainsman in the Ack Ack, both for trainer Brad Cox. 

The veteran rider said he had no complaints about his trip aboard maiden-winner Portfolio Company, who was exiting a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 With Anticipation on September 1 at Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown.

“He responded well. The other horse [Annapolis] came to me a little bit early and then I had to just keep moving inside. It was a very good race in the end,” Rosario said. “When he came to me, I had to hold my position. Turning for home, [Annapolis] moved a little early which engaged me to move forward a little more than I wanted to. You just have to ride them the way the race is playing.”

Annapolis returned $3.30 to win off a $2 wager and increased his lifetime earnings to $165,000. 

Limited Liability was third, 3 1/4-lengths ahead of Doctor Jeff. Midnight Worker and City of Light were scratched. 

A Kentucky homebred, Annapolis is by War Front and out of the graded-stakes winning Unbridled’s Song mare My Miss Sophia, who was also conditioned by Pletcher. 

Live racing returns Thursday at Belmont Park with a nine-race card. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE

NYRA Belmont Press Release

Photo: Annapolis ( JG Photo)

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