ELMONT, N.Y. – Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael J. Caruso’s Tribhuvan (FR) was a dominant gate-to-wire winner under jockey Manny Franco in Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Manhattan, a 10-furlong inner turf test for older horses on Belmont Stakes Day.
Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, who saddled four contenders, won a record-extending eighth Manhattan and his fourth straight edition as the 6-year-old Toronado gelding avenged his runner-up effort last year to stablemate Domestic Spending. Brown was also represented Saturday by runner-up Adhamo, fifth place Rockemperor and seventh-place L’Imperator.
“Manny rode a great race and set an easy pace, but the key is he opened up,” Brown said. “That’s what you’ve got to do with this horse. You’ve got to bottom the horses behind you.
“I was yelling from the box seats, ‘Open up, open up.’ I know 49 [seconds for the half-mile] looks all cozy and all but I want this horse completely away from everyone else. He runs best that way.”
Franco sent Tribhuvan to the front for an uncontested lead after the often-prominent Channel Maker broke last and trailed. Tribhuvan marked off splits of 24.78 seconds, 49.65 and 1:13.24 with Santin, last-out winner of the Grade 1 Turf Classic, tracking from second position with Tokyo Gold in third and last-out Grade 1 Man o’ War-winner Highland Chief in fourth.
Tribhuvan opened up by 6 1/2-lengths into the final turn with Santin chasing and Gufo launching his wide bid from near the back of the pack. Tribhuvan clung to the fence through the turn and powered away from his rivals, besting rail-rallying stablemate Adhamo by 3 1/2-lengths in a final time of 1:59.54. Gufo finished a further one length back in third with Highland Chief, Rockemperor, Santin, L’Imperator, In Love, Channel Maker and Tokyo Gold rounding out the order of finish.
Franco, aboard Tribhuvan for the second time, said he intended to dictate terms.
“I knew I was the only speed in the race. I just wanted to make sure I broke good and put my horse on the lead,” Franco said. “I was really comfortable with the way I was traveling and didn’t want anyone too close to me and the horse responded really well. [This win] means a lot. Every Grade 1 is nice and I’m just glad to be part of it.”
Last year, Tribhuvan notched gate-to-wire scores in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy at Belmont and the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park. He finished off-the-board in both starts this year, including a distant fifth last out in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill.
Brown said Tribhuvan appreciated a return to the Belmont turf.
“The turf at Churchill, as we saw today with the news they aren’t going to use it [for two weeks], was wet that week and such. Certain horses didn’t fire on it,” Brown said. “This horse got an easy lead and just stopped. He didn’t like it at all. He nearly held off a great horse in Domestic Spending in this race last year going much quicker than that. He had been training well and we were confident that if he got somewhat loose in this race, at least he would be in the picture late.”
Dubb, Madaket Stables and Louis Lazzinnaro’s Adhamo, who captured the nine-furlong Group 3 Prix la Force in April 2021 at Longchamp for former conditioner Frederic Head, skimmed the rail for place.
“He was jammed up in a little bit of a slower pace than he wanted,” Brown said. “He had some traffic. Flavien felt if he could’ve gotten out sooner he could’ve made a good run of it.”
The 4-year-old Intello colt is still in search of a first stateside win after finishing second in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds in his debut for Brown ahead of an even third last out in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill.
In addition to Tribhuvan and Domestic Spending, Brown’s Manhattan winners include Desert Blanc , Real Solution , Slumber , Flintshire , who earned Champion Grass Horse honors that year; Bricks and Mortar , that year’s Champion Turf Male and Horse of the Year; and Instilled Regard .
Bred in France by Jean Charles Haimet, Elza Petit and Hannah Petit, Tribhuvan banked $400,000 in victory while improving his record to 24-5-2-0. He returned $40.20 for a $2 win wager.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Belmont with a nine-race card featuring the $150,000 Jersey Girl for sophomore fillies going six furlongs on the main track in Race 3 at 2:03 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
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By Keith McCalmont
Photo by NYRA/Coglianese