Nations Pride Training Forwardly To Man o’ War

May 6, 2024

Nations Pride winning the Canadian International at Woodbine. (Michael Burns photo)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Godolphin’s Irish homebred Nations Pride has settled in well in his return to Belmont Park, where he is readying for Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Man o’ War, a 1 3/8-mile turf test for older horses, at Belmont at the Big A. 

Trained by Charlie Appleby, the multiple graded/group 1 winner breezed twice last week over the dirt training track, covering a half-mile in 52.25 seconds and 50 flat on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. Nations Pride returned to the track a little after 7:30 a.m. Sunday to gallop one easy lap around under exercise rider Adrian McCarthy, keeping along evenly while wearing a hood to help keep him relaxed on the bustling oval. 

“We just took an easy day today since he worked yesterday. He’s brilliant,” said Christiane Harley, traveling assistant to Appleby. “He’s very easy and straightforward. Adrian knows him and always rides him.”

The globe-trotting Teofilo 5-year-old has won a graded or group event in four countries, including a pair of scores as a sophomore on the NYRA circuit when annexing the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby Invitational at Saratoga Race Course and the Grade 3 Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont at the Big A in his most recent New York outing. 

His impressive resume includes additional Grade/Group 1 victories last year in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis – Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich Racecourse in Germany, and the Canadian International at Woodbine. Nations Pride boasts more than $2.5 million in earnings through a 15-9-2-1 record. 

Harley also indicated that Godolphin’s three-time graded/group stakes-winner Ottoman Fleet is in fine fettle after finishing second to Master Piece in his attempt at a title defense in yesterday’s Grade 2 Fort Marcy at Belmont at the Big A. 

The son of Sea The Stars, who entered from a repeat win in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton on April 17 at Newmarket, looked poised to once again capture the Fort Marcy, but drifted out in the lane when Master Piece challenged to his inside and came up a neck shy of victory. He earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

*Michael Iavarone, Julia Iavarone, Nicholas Zoumas and Frank Argano’s Master Piece, who captured his third graded/group score, also earned a 99 Beyer for his win when pouncing from two lengths off the pace under Dylan Davis for trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. The 8-year-old Mastercraftsman ridgling, who was bright and energetic Sunday at Dutrow, Jr.’s Belmont barn, added to a win last year at Belmont at the Big A in the Grade 2 Red Smith. 

Dutrow, Jr. earned a graded double this week at Belmont at the Big A after sending out Messier to score in the Grade 3 Westchester for owners SF Racing, Madaket Stables, Lansdon Robbins, III, Tom Ryan, Robert Masterson, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable and Siena Farm.

The 5-year-old Empire Maker horse was also in good spirits Sunday after garnering a 96 Beyer for his three-quarter-length score over dual graded stakes-winner Post Time. Jose Gomez engineered the winning ride to capture his first career graded stakes victory. 

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