2023 Jaipur Stakes & more Belmont Graded Stakes Recap

The action on the lawn at Belmont Park on Saturday was of an equally high standard to that on the main track, and the headline horse was the fiercely progressive Up To The Mark, who ran out an authoritative winner of the G1 Manhattan. The remarkable sprinter Caravel took her winning streak to five when beating the boys in the 2023 Jaipur Stakes, while Emmanuel sprang a mild upset in the G3 Poker when getting up late in a thrilling finish.

Breeders Cup Odds

2023 Manhattan Stakes

G1, $750,000, 1m 2f turf, 4yo+

Mark leaves another big impression

Todd Pletcher was out of luck when saddling the board horses in the final leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday, but the trainer gained a little Belmont Park compensation with the dominant victory of Up To The Mark in the Manhattan, the fast-improving four-year-old too strong for Soldier Rising and Ottoman Fleet.

A surface switch has transformed Up To The Mark, who is four-for-five since moving to the lawn and must now rate as the best turf route horse in the US. He certainly looked that calibre with this clinical dismissal of a good field, and his share of the purse made him a millionaire.

The 8-5 favourite sat behind the rabbit-like pace set by Strong Quality, who was still on the sharp end at the top of the stretch, but Up To The Mark was a menacing threat on his shoulder and he simply breezed right by the leader in upper stretch, clearing right away under Irad Ortiz to slam his rivals by two and three-quarter lengths. The frustrating Soldier Rising rallied gamely to beat European raider Ottoman Fleet to place honours by a head.

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Up to the Mark wins the G1T Manhattan #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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“He handled the mile and a quarter like we hoped he would,” said Pletcher, winning the Manhattan for the first time. “Now I’m wondering whether he could stretch out a little more.”

That would be necessary if Up To The Mark is to be considered for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November, but Pletcher may leave that decision until later in the year. Up To The Mark, five-for-ten with two G1s, would be the class act in the G1 Arlington Million at Colonial Downs on August 12 if he is kept at a mile and a quarter.

Manhattan Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Up To The Mark5.304.402.80
2. Soldier Rising11.405.30
3. Ottoman Fleet2.60

Winning time: 1m 59.31s

2023 Jaipur Stakes

G1, $400,000, 6f turf, 3yo+

Caravel too hot to handle

The remarkable grey mare Caravel continues to go from strength to strength at the relatively advanced age of six, and she claimed her second G1 and took her winning streak to five in the 2023 Jaipur Stakes, outrunning Big Invasion and dual Jaipur winner Casa Creed.

Caravel had been considered for a transatlantic trip to Royal Ascot later this month, but connections decided to stay close to home and they were rewarded with a copybook sprinting display. The 5-2 favourite got over from her outside post and stalked the speed of Nothing Better until moving to the lead and taking command at the eighth-pole, from which point Tyler Gaffalione simply kept her up to her work to land the spoils by three-quarters of a length.

Big Invasion came from the clouds with a furious rally to take second place by a neck over second-choice Casa Creed, winner of this in 2021 and 2022 but beaten fair and square this time.

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The Jaipur stakes was taken by Caravel #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #FYP #Sports #Horse #Horses

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“She is absolutely amazing, she never lets us down,” said trainer Brad Cox, signing for his first victory in the Jaipur. “She ran another big one today and that’s two Grade 1s against the boys – incredible.”

The Jaipur is a win-and-in for the $1m G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita over five furlongs on November 4, and Caravel – who owns an undeniably impressive 15-for-23 resume – is now booked in to defend the crown she won at 42-1 at Keeneland Racecourse last year. Her next stop on the journey to the west coast is likely to be Saratoga Racetrack, although Cox will consider all options.

Jaipur Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Caravel7.804.803.40
2. Big Invasion5.503.50
3. Casa Creed3.60

Winning time: 1m 07.93s

2023 Poker Stakes

G3, $200,000, 1m turf, 4yo+

Emmanuel comes up with aces

The biggest shock of a stakes-heavy afternoon came in the Poker, when Emmanuel bounced back to his best to prevail in a close finish from Filo De Arianna and the 2-5 favourite Chez Pierre, a rare reversal for chalk players on an otherwise profitable day.

Emmanuel has more than once failed to live up to expectations when tried at the top level, but when the chips are down he’s a solid G3 runner and proved it here, the 6-1 third-choice trailing the field under Irad Ortiz – who won four races through the afternoon – before taking closer order approaching the top of the stretch.

The front-running Filo Di Arianna almost made it all the way home but Emmanuel ate hungrily into his lead through the final furlong and nailed him in the last three jumps, getting up by a neck with Chez Pierre, who couldn’t locate a telling change of gear, a half-length further back.

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Emmanuel wins the G3T Poker Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

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“The mile suits him here at Belmont,” said Ortiz. “I knew some horses had more speed than me so I just wanted to get him in a good spot. I gave him a target to run at and when I tipped him out he responded really well.”

Emmanuel has a six-for-11 count and is two-for-two at Belmont, and all but one of his defeats have come at G1 and G2 level. That fact notwithstanding, trainer Todd Pletcher will point him towards the G1 Fourstardave over a mile at Saratoga on August 12, to see if he can break that hex and take advantage of the race’s win-and-in status for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Poker Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Emmanuel14.406.102.70
2. Filo Di Arianna5.702.90
3. Chez Pierre2.10

Winning time: 1m 34.25s

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