Nations Pride Scores 96 Beyer for G3 Caesars Jockey Club Derby

September 19, 2022

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Godolphin’s banner day on Saturday here, there and yonder was strengthened by a decisive victory from Nations Pride (IRE) in the Grade 3, $1 million Caesars Jockey Club Derby Invitational at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

The racing and breeding powerhouse, headed by His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, captured high caliber races on both hemispheres on Saturday. In addition to Nations Pride’s 6 1/4-length conquest of the Caesars Jockey Club Derby – the final leg of the Caesars Turf Triple series – Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby earned a pair of Grade 1 victories in Canada at Woodbine, taking the Woodbine Mile with Modern Game (IRE) as well as the Summer with Mysterious Night (IRE)

Down Under, Godolphin teamed up with Australian trainer James Cummings and captured the Group 1 General George Main at Randwick with Anamoe (AUS) as well as Caulfield’s Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude [Aft Cabin] and the Group 3 How Now [Zapeto].

Nations Pride, a bay son of Teofilo, tracked an honest pace set by Grade 1 Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational winner Classic Causeway, swung four wide around the final turn under jockey Frankie Dettori and was never in doubt in the stretch drive, completing the 12 furlongs in course record time of 2:24.14 and garnering a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Banking $535,000 in victory, Nations Pride achieved millionaire status now boasting $1,434,216 in total earnings and a record of 9-6-2-0.

The victory provided the talented Nations Pride with a second victory in this year’s Caesars Turf Triple series. Following a troubled runner-up effort in the Belmont Derby on July 9 as the lukewarm favorite, he turned the tables on Classic Causeway to win the Grade 1 Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational on August 6 at the Spa.

Godolphin also won last year’s Jockey Club Derby with Yibir, who subsequently won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar en route to Eclipse Award honors as Champion Turf Horse. But Appleby’s traveling assistant Chris Connett said the horse would ship back to Appleby’s training yard at Newmarket in England before mapping out a remaining 2022 campaign.

“He looked great this morning, I’m very happy with him,” Connett said. “I spoke to Charlie last night as we usually do after big races like this, and he was very pleased with the effort. The plan is to bring him back to the UK on Tuesday and from there, Charlie will map out a plan for the rest of the year for him.”

Nations Pride remained in New York following the Belmont Derby, where he trained extensively over the Oklahoma turf at Saratoga in preparation for his next two winning engagements.

Nations Pride sails to an assertive victory in the Jockey Club Derby. Photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA

“He was really able to fill out his frame. He developed and matured very well,” Connett said of the horse’s steps forward. “Mentally as well, he’s been taking everything in stride. He was able to take to the whole training in America thing with lots of horses around him in the mornings.

“He’s a good traveler,” Connett added. “He seems like he’s a horse that you can take pretty much anywhere. He’s shown his ability and that he’s a high-class horse.”

Following the race, Dettori expressed confidence in victory once the field reached the stretch and Connett conveyed similar assurance.

“The way he was travelling in the race was great. He had a nice pace right in front of him and as soon as he found daylight, he was able to put it to bed pretty quickly,” Connett said.

Bred in Ireland by his owner, Nations Pride is out of the Oasis Dream mare Important Time – a listed stakes winner in Germany who is out of Group 1 winner Satwa Queen.

NYRA Press Office
Main Photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA

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