BELMONT, N.Y. – Two-time stakes winner Outadore switches back to the turf in Sunday’s seventh running of the $100,000 Paradise Creek over the Widener course at Belmont Park.
The seven-furlong turf test for sophomores honors a nine-time graded stakes winner over eight different turf courses in Paradise Creek, who earned 1994 Champion Turf Male honors. The versatile son of Irish River won four Grade 1 races and banked over $3 million in lifetime earnings for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, including the 1994 Manhattan at Belmont Park, where he completed the ten furlongs in 1:57.79 – a course record which still stands.
Breeze Easy’s Outadore, trained by Wesley Ward, arrives at Sunday’s engagement off a front-running one-length victory as the favorite in the 6 1/2-furlong Animal Kingdom on March 27 over Turfway Park’s all-weather surface.
Following a first-out maiden victory over the Mellon turf at Saratoga last summer, Outadore made a successful stakes debut when capturing the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs. He then finished third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland, where he stretched out to a two-turn mile for the first time.
Outadore has gotten acclimated to his new surroundings at Belmont, breezing a half-mile in 48.75 seconds over the inner turf on Sunday morning.
Cross-entered in the Grade 2 Penn Mile at Penn National on Friday, Ward said he will opt for the Paradise Creek for the son of second-crop sire Outwork.
“The owner’s plan from the onset was centered in on this race, so the Penn Mile, we used an option. This race was what our target was,” Ward said.
Ward said he likes the shorter distance for Outadore. Although his charge placed against high-caliber competition going one mile, Ward said seven furlongs plays more to his strengths.
“The distance really helps,” Ward said. “He had everything his own way going a mile in the Breeders’ Cup. Turning for home we looked like the winner, but we weren’t. Maybe seven furlongs will be better than a mile as well. He’s settled in nicely there. He should have a nice run.”
Outadore will be piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 3.
Ward also sends out Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Chasing Artie, who puts an unbeaten turf record on the line from post 6.
The son of We Miss Artie found the winner’s circle at third asking in his turf debut at Gulfstream Park on February 27 in frontrunning fashion. He displayed vastly different tactics when taking the Palisades Turf Sprint on April 2 at Keeneland when trailing the nine-horse field before making a last-to-first run in the stretch to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
“He’s doing everything right. We learned a new dimension when he hopped out of the gate and made one big run and those are the tactics we’ll use this time,” Ward said. “There shouldn’t be any conflicting issues with their running styles being so different.”
Joel Rosario, aboard Chasing Artie for his last out triumph, will have the return engagement.
Trainer Robert ‘Butch’ Reid, Jr. will switch surfaces with stakes-winner Beren, who returns to Belmont by way of Parx Racing after capturing the Gold Fever here on May 9.
Following two victories over his home ground, the Pennsylvania-bred son of Weigelia ventured outside of the Keystone State for the first time when fourth in the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct. Beren vindicated himself in the next out Gold Fever in a hard-fought victory over graded stakes-winner Candy Man Rocket.
Arriving off three weeks rest, Beren has made no appearances on the work tab since his last start.
“He’s plenty fit and we’re coming back on pretty short notice,” Reid said. “I was a little hesitant to enter as it will be his third time in a row shipping and coming back in three weeks is a little tight, but he’s been really good the last two weeks. We gave him a little blowout down the lane the other day just to make sure he’s where we wanted him and he was fine with it.”
Beren is out of multiple graded stakes-winning Maryland-bred Silmaril, who won at least one stakes races for five years in a row and banked just over $1 million in earnings. Beren is 3-2-0 in his first eight starts, all on the main track.
“Both the father and mother have turf [pedigree],” Reid said. “The mother is by a Diamond stallion and he gets nothing but turf horses. We have to try him on it before the summer is over, so we may as well try it now.”
Eric Cancel will be in the irons from the inside post.
Completing the field are a pair of stakes winners supplemented by trainer Phil Gleaves in Thin White Duke [post 4, John Velazquez] and Second of July [post 7, Manny Franco]; as well as multiple stakes-placed Fauci [post 2, Javier Castellano] for trainer Philip Antonacci; and two-time winner Three Two Zone [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche] for conditioner Marya Montoya.
The Paradise Creek is carded as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race program at Belmont Park. First post is 1 p.m.
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NYRA Press Release
Photo: Outadore wins Maiden race at Saratoga under jockey Irad Ortiz in July 2020. (NYRA/Chelsea Durand)