Stylish Maiden Winner Northern Invader Points to G2 Hall of Fame

July 2, 2023

Northern Invader draws away to break his maiden by eight lengths July 1 (NYRA/Coglianese)

$135K De La Rose or G3 Matchmaker Next for Gam’s Mission

Shotgun Hottie on Target for G3 Molly Pitcher

NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— West Point Thoroughbreds and David Ingordo’s Northern Invader, a sophomore son of Collected, drew off to an impressive eight-length score on Saturday in a one-mile maiden special weight over the Widener turf for 3-year-olds and up.

Trained by Cherie DeVaux and piloted by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Northern Invader bobbled at the break and settled in fourth position before making a three-wide move on the turn and taking a four-length lead at the stretch call. The talented chestnut kicked away in the final furlong under a strong hand ride to secure the win in a final time of 1:33.76 and garner a career-best 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

Northern Invader, bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. and Peter A. Berglar Racing Interests, made his first two starts on dirt at Churchill Downs, completing the exacta on both occasions.

DeVaux said she was cautiously optimistic of a good effort from Northern Invader in his turf debut.

“He’s exciting for sure. The first two races we were trying to see if we should pursue going on the dirt. We always had a feeling he was a turf horse, but he had been training so well on the dirt,” said DeVaux, who secured her first win at Belmont Park. “There’s always some apprehension. The two races he ran on the dirt were really solid and the speed figures came back quite fast, so you’re just hoping you make the right decision with the surface change.”

DeVaux said Northern Invader is likely to target the Grade 2, $500,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at one-mile on turf for sophomores on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course rather than try the $1 million King’s Plate, a 10-furlong Tapeta test restricted to Canadian-bred 3-year-olds on August 20 at Woodbine Racetrack.

“Right now, I think we’ll stay the course on the turf and maybe try the Hall of Fame. Just see how he’s training out of this and go from there,” DeVaux said. “It’s a big jump to go from a mile to that [10 furlongs], so we’ll just have to see how he progresses in his training.”

The well-bred $310,000 OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase is out of the winning Arch mare Androeah, who is a full-sister to Grade 1-winner Archarcharch.

DeVaux credited Northern Invader’s breeders, who also found success this meet with the sophomore Ontario-bred Kalik, who captured the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge here in June and is targeting Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Derby Invitational.

“They both do an excellent job with anything they have their hand in,” said DeVaux of Anderson and Berglar. “They’re family friends of ours and both do a really good job in their matings and how the horses are raised. My husband [Ingordo] bought [Grade 1-winner] Hard Not to Love off of Dave Anderson – he has a great breeding program up there.”

Northern Invader, who shipped upstate to Saratoga this morning, was saddled on Saturday by DeVaux’s sister and assistant trainer, Adrianne DeVaux, who visited with the budding star when he was a yearling.

“She was actually playing with him in the field and he was chasing her around. He wouldn’t leave her alone, so the joke was always that he chose her. She’s very attached to him,” DeVaux said, with a laugh.

DeVaux, who will have 19 stalls at the Spa this summer, said dual graded-stakes winner Gam’s Mission is on target for either the restricted $135,000 De La Rose on August 2 at Saratoga or the Grade 3 Matchmaker on July 22 at Monmouth Park.

The 5-year-old Noble Mission mare, a homebred for Lazy F Ranch, captured a pair of Grade 3 scores at Churchill, taking the 2021 Regret and the Mint Julep last June. She was last seen taking a Keeneland allowance in April by a neck over Bubble Rock, who exited that effort to win the License Fee at Belmont.

Shotgun Hottie romps in the Lady’s Secret June 10 at Monmouth Park (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Omar Aldabbagh and Jeff Ganje’s multiple graded-stakes placed Shotgun Hottie is on target for the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher on July 22 at Monmouth following her 5 1/2-length romp there last out on June 10 in the Lady’s Secret.

The 4-year-old Gun Runner bay entered the Lady’s Secret from a distant third-place finish in the Serena’s Song on May 14 at the New Jersey oval. She boasts a perfect in-the-money record from three starts at Monmouth, including a runner-up effort in last year’s Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.

“She’s doing really well. I’ll point her to the Molly Pitcher,” DeVaux said. “She had her last two races over the track and the impressive win, so I’m taking the next logical step with her.”

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