2023 Fort Marcy Stakes & Ruffian Stakes Recap

With a fantastic weekend of racing action drawing to a close at Belmont Park, Saturday’s eleven-runner card was headlined by two Grade 2 contests, the 2023 Fort Marcy and Ruffian Stakes.

In this year’s renewal of the Fort Marcy, the heavily fancied pre-race favorite, Law Professor was a late scratch which left the Charlie Appleby-trained Ottoman Fleet as the leader in the betting. 

A grade 3 winner back in the UK, this was Ottoman Fleet’s first start in the USA and he showed what a classy horse he could be. 

Happy to track the leaders throughout the race, jockey Richard Mullen was able to find a seam up the inside rail and burst clear to capture a win on his American debut. 

In this year’s Ruffian Stakes the Claude McGaughey trained Kathleen O was positioned as the heavy favorite for the race but was unable to fire as her winless run extended to five races. 

With just six runners heading down to post it was the George Weaver-trained Pass The Champagne who was able to win the biggest prize of her career and her first graded stakes win. 

Fort Marcy Stakes

Grade 2, 1 mile and an eighth, Turf, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000

  1. Ottoman Fleet +160
  2. Tide of the Sea +3000
  3. City Man +250

Winning time: 1:47.25

With the late scratch of the heavy pre-race favorite Law Professor, this year’s Fort Marcy saw eight runners head to post for this year’s contest. 

All eyes were on the Charlie Appleby-trained Ottoman Fleet who was having his first American start. Installed as the new favorite following a Grade 3 success back in the UK last time out, he didn’t disappoint. 

Wary of Ottoman Fleet’s potential class, it was the outsider of the field Tide of the Sea who broke like an express train and led the field through the early stages.

Fort Marcy Stakes Race Video


Ottoman Fleet takes the G2 Fort Marcy Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse#Sport #FYP

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

Holding an eighth-length lead up the back straight, Tide of the Sea poured it on up front and hit the home turn with clear daylight between him and the rest of the chasing pack. 

With Tide of the Sea’s strides starting to shorten the rest of the field began to close, and as he ran off the final bend he suddenly had challengers all around.

Cruising into contention came the favorite. Ottoman Fleet. Saving ground up the rail, Ottoman Fleet’s jockey Richard Mullen spotted a seam and asked his mount to go and win his race.

Quickly hitting the front it was clear that there was ever going to be one winner. With none of his rivals able to respond, he would go onto win by two lengths. 

In a race for second, Tide of the Sea was somehow able to cling on with City Man arriving late on the scene to finish third. 

Fort Marcy Stakes Payouts

1Ottoman Fleet$4.00$2.90$2.10
2Tide of the Sea $32.40$9.70
3City Man  $2.60

Ruffian Stakes

Grade 2, 1 mile, Dirt, for fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000.

  1. Pass the Champagne +400
  2. Idiomatic +300
  3. Gerrymander +800

Winning time: 1.36.13

The Claude McGaughey trained Kathleen O started this year’s Ruffian Stakes as the race favorite following a pair of placed efforts in the graded company earlier this year.

A former graded stakes winner, many expected her to cement her class, but something was clearly amiss as she ran desperately poorly to finish in last place.

With Kathleen O out of the reckoning, the race was taken up by the pair of Gerrymander and Idiomatic. Setting a strong pace, the two led through much of the race and had several of their rivals in trouble as the field hit the home turn. 

Ruffian Stakes Race Video


Pass The Champaigne wins the Ruffian Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

Keen to not let the front pair get too far ahead, Pass the Champagne was keen to track every move. Rounding the home turn in third place she looked to be travelling like the best horse in the race.

Tracking to the outside, she swooped clear of her rivals at the furlong pole and quickly put the race to bed. 

Striding clear of her rivals she would go onto win the race by five lengths. Idiomatic would claim second with Gerrymander holding on for third. 

Ruffian Stakes Payouts

1Pass the Champagne$17.00$5.90$4.20
2Idiomatic $3.70$3.00
3Gerrymander  $4.20

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