ELMONT, N.Y. – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Big Invasion stormed down the center of the track to reel in a freewheeling Asymmetric (IRE) and capture Sunday’s $100,000 Paradise Creek, a seven-furlong Widener turf sprint for sophomores at Belmont Park.
Trained by Christophe Clement and patiently piloted by Joel Rosario, the Declaration of War bay successfully stretched out in distance to run his win streak to four, including stakes scores in the five-furlong Texas Glitter in March at Gulfstream Park and the 5 1/2-furlong William Walker last out on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
“He was a bit immature early on and he could be a bit strong,” said Clement, who previously won the Paradise Creek with Green Mask  and the Rosario-piloted Too Discreet . “Joel got him to completely switch off today, which was impressive. He finished so well today. We’ll enjoy this for a few days and go from there.”
Asymmetric, a Group 2-winner at Goodwood in July, made his stateside debut for trainer Wesley Ward. He broke alertly from the outermost post 6 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., speeding away to a six-length advantage through an opening quarter-mile in 21.87 seconds over the firm going.
Big Invasion tracked from fourth position as Asymmetric led the field into the turn with Chanceux in second and High Front chasing in third. Big Invasion angled outside of High Front midway through the turn as the field surged in pursuit of Asymmetric, who reached the half-mile in 45.01.
Big Invasion was in full flight as the field straightened away, powering past a game and determined Asymmetric at the sixteenth marker en route to a 3 1/4-length score in a final time of 1:20.34.
Asymmetric completed the exacta by a half-length over Chanceux with High Front, Carpe’s Dream and Maritime Wings rounding out the order of finish. Main-track only entrant Champagne Poetry, who finished ninth in Saturday’s Grade 3 Soaring Softly at Belmont, was scratched.
Rosario said he was pleased with the effort from Big Invasion.
“He was really good,” Rosario said. “He relaxed today nicely and came with a run at the end. That was impressive. He looked like he stretched his legs nicely down the stretch. He’s exciting.”
Ortiz, Jr. said he took advantage of the fast start by Asymmetric.
“He broke very sharp,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I didn’t think he was going to show that much speed, but he did. He got run down by a nice horse today.”
Clement said he will resist stretching Big Invasion out further for the moment and point to the Grade 3, $175,000 Quick Call presented by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for sophomores on July 17 at Saratoga Race Course.
“That’s the plan at the moment, but I’ll have to talk to Mr. Reeves about it. He’s got a lot of speed and I think it would be foolish to take all the speed away,” Clement said. “I think we’ll keep him sprinting this year and maybe stretch him out next year. It makes sense to keep him a sprinter at the moment.”
Bred in Kentucky by John O’Meara, Big Invasion banked $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 5-4-1-0. He returned $4.60 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes Monday at Belmont with a special 10-race all state-bred card, celebrating the best of New York racing with five stakes for the annual Big Apple Showcase Day. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
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By Keith McCalmont/NYRA Press Office
Photo by Chelsea Durand