Big Invasion streaks to five with G3 Quick Call win

July 17, 2022

Race presented by Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and trainer Christophe Clement visited the Saratoga Race Course winner’s circle for the second time this meet at graded stakes level when Big Invasion kept a win streak afloat in Sunday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Quick Call presented by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Clement and Reeves captured three stakes events last summer at Saratoga and are already in good position to equal last year’s accolades just four days into the meet. The owner-trainer team collaborated in Friday’s Grade 3 Forbidden Apple with New York-bred City Man. 

Big Invasion secured his fifth consecutive victory and first graded score in the 5 1/2-furlong test for sophomores over the Mellon turf course after winning his previous four starts by at least two lengths. Cutting back from the seven-furlong Paradise Creek on May 29 at Belmont Park, the Declaration of War bay solidified his distance versatility, splitting rivals around the far turn and hand ridden to victory in the final strides under Joel Rosario. 

Big Invasion, who broke from the outermost post 6, dropped back to fifth in the early stages as Surprise Boss was hustled out the gate by Kendrick Carmouche and led the opening quarter-mile in a torrid 21.41 seconds over the firm going with Run Curtis Run keeping close company in second. Making his move in between horses around the far turn, Big Invasion was in third nearing the quarter pole and was on even terms with Surprise Boss and Run Curtis Run through a half-mile in 43.83 seconds. Big Invasion was already one length in front by the stretch call and powered home a 2 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:00.80. 

Run Curtis Run held second a half-length ahead of Surprise Boss. Completing the order of finish were Sky and Sand, also owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Asymmetric and Nobals. Dance Code, One Timer and main track only entrants Senbei and Hagler were scratched. 

Big Invasion, who returned $3.70 for a $2 win wager as the favorite, has now won his fourth stakes race over as many ovals. He previously captured the Texas Glitter on March 26 at Gulfstream Park nearly six weeks before capturing the William Walker at Churchill Downs. 

“He’s a very good horse and he keeps winning. That’s what good horses do, they win more often than the lesser ones,” said Clement, who won the 2014 Quick Call with popular turf sprinter Pure Sensation. “He was impressive last time and impressive the time before that. Today, I told Joel to be comfortable with whatever he wanted to do. We know he can rate now. He’s still a bit immature. He was perfect, but he got a little bit rank in the turn. But he’s so good, he just goes away from them in the stretch. He’s very exciting.”

Clement noted the horse’s versatility in terms of both distance and pace tactics. 

“He’s better than just the setup [of the race]. He can do different things,” Clement said. “If there’s no pace, he can go to the lead. He showed the other day he could go seven-eighths at Belmont. He’s becoming very versatile. He’s becoming more mature and a very serious horse.”

Big Invasion’s best days could still be ahead of him, according to Clement. 

“If I keep him sound, he should be even better from three-to-four because he’s still a touch immature,” Clement said. “You can see it in the way he runs. But he’s very fast and if you can just control that speed, he’s a major horse.”

The win was also business as usual for Rosario, who now boasts three graded stakes victories through the past three days of the Saratoga meet. After winning aboard City Man, he captured the Grade 1 Diana on Saturday when piloting In Italian. 

Rosario earned a third Quick Call conquest, previously piloting Listing [2019] and eventual New York leading sire Central Banker [2013].

“He broke very well and it looked like it was a little speed in front, and we set up nice in behind them,” said Rosario. “I kind of made a move into the turn and continued his move. He did great. Turning for home, I was just a passenger on the best horse in the race. Going forward, his races look like they’re getting better and better. That’s exciting and I’m thankful to the owners and Christophe for the opportunity.”

Clement said either the $150,000 Mahony on August 14 at Saratoga or the Grade 2 Franklin-Simpson on September 10 at Kentucky Downs are both viable options for Big Invasion’s next start. 

Big Invasion now boasts a bankroll of $361,545 through a 6-5-1-0 record. His lone defeat was his career debut on January 7 where he was second beaten two lengths over the Gulfstream turf. 

Purchased for $72,000 out of the Vinery Stables consignment at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Big Invasion is the third offspring out of the Curlin mare Curls in Place, whose other two progeny of racing age are both stakes placed. 

Live racing resumes on Wednesday at Saratoga with a 10-race card, featuring the Grade 1, $150,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial over the hurdles in Race 1 and the $125,000 Suzie O’Cain for New York-bred sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf in Race 9. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. 

Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

By Ryan Martin
Photo by Chelsea Durand

@jonathanstettin major bias play, thanks j man!!!! Lol

Darren Rybka (@RybkaDarren) View testimonials

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