ELMONT, N.Y. – OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard overtook Somelikeithotbrown at the top of the stretch and outlasted stablemate Devamani by a neck to lead an exacta for trainer Chad Brown in the Grade 2, $150,000 Fort Marcy for 4-year-olds and up on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Off as the 2-1 favorite in bidding for his third career graded stakes win, Instilled Regard was forwardly placed by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and gained command from the outside of Somelikeithotbrown, driving strong to the finish to complete 1 1/8 miles in a final time of 1:47.07.
The 5-year-old son of Arch started his campaign with a strong account of himself against some of the country’s top turf horses, finishing third in the Grade 1, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on January 25 at Gulfstream Park.
After running off the board last out in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial on March 21 at Fair Grounds, Instilled Regard returned to form and improved to 4-3-4 in 17 career starts. He returned $6.40 on a $2 win wager and improved his career earnings to $763,240.
“He got a beautiful trip. Irad rode him with a lot of confidence,” Brown said. “He had been training well. I was a little concerned today. He likes the ground firm and there was a lot of moisture. I’m very proud of this horse that he actually handled some moisture in the ground on the Belmont course. It was a relief to see that. I know he’s better on firm turf, but he showed a lot of guts today. The turf is not that soft, but there definitely is some give in it.”
Ortiz, Jr., who notched his meet-leading eighth win, said he broke well and waited for his spot.
“I was in a perfect spot on the backside just waiting and then I saw a horse on the outside move,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I moved a little early, but I had no choice because I didn’t want to be behind horses. So I moved him out and he just took off and started moving really good. When I asked him turning for home, he responded really well.
“He’s a nice horse,” he added. “I’ve been riding him four times now and since the first day, we connected great. He has a huge stride. He’s the kind of horse that needs the mile-and-an-eighth. He’s doing so well right now. He comes back to me whenever I need him and when I ask him, he’s there for me.”
Brown saddled four contenders in the Fort Marcy and also saw Devamani run second for the second straight stakes race, following a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay on February 8 by besting Somelikeithotbrown by a neck.
“It was another good race from Devamani in his second start for us,” Brown said. “He had everything against him pace wise and he still almost got there. He’s an improving horse that we like quite a bit. He’s on his way up.”
Completing the order of finish was Synchrony, Flop Shot, Social Paranoia and Temple. Gucci Factor was pulled up and vanned off and Tribhuvan had an equipment issue and did not complete the race.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 10-race card highlighted by the $80,000 First Defence for 4-year-olds and up going seven furlongs on the Widener turf in Race 9 at 5:36 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:15 p.m.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Instilled Regard. Credit: NYRA/Coglianese Photos