Mr Speaker edges out Adelaide in the Belmont DerbyPICTURE: Bud Morton/EquiSport Photos
Toast out of the frame as Adelaide is just denied
Report: USA, Saturday
Belmont Park: Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
THE Aidan O’Brien-trained Adelaide went down narrowly in the inaugural Belmont Derby as outsider Mr Speaker (Shug McGaughey/Jose Lezcano) clocked a course-record time in a race in which British raider Toast Of New York finished sixth.
UAE Derby winner Toast Of New York, having his first run on turf since his debut fifth at Leicester last August, travelled well into the straight but emptied out of contention in the final furlong.
Jamie Osborne’s star could not replicate the finishing kick displayed by Mr Speaker, who blasted past Adelaide only to be harried all the way to the line by the Royal Ascot runner-up.
Speaking on At The Races, Osborne said: “Jamie [Spencer] said he was perfectly happy through the race and turning in he looked like he was about to kick on. He’s run a sound enough race but the last furlong was disappointing and he almost looked like a non-stayer.”
Osborne, who bypassed the Derby with the Michael Buckley-owned Toast Of New York in favour of another ambitious international journey, added: “We will have to go back to the drawing board and see where to go to give him the best chance of winning.”
Mr Speaker, a maiden winner at the track and dual Grade 3 winner elsewhere, finished last of five at the course in May but bounced back to form in great style to post a winning time of 2mins 1.18secs.
Adelaide was given every chance by jockey Colm O’Donoghue as he attempted to go one better than when finishing behind Eagle Top in the King Edward VII Stakes 15 days ago and he briefly looked like doing so until Mr Speaker hit top gear up the inside rail.