GARDEN CITY STAKES | PURSE: $500,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/8 MILES (TURF)
Making her United States debut, French filly Alterite seized the lead past mid-stretch en route to a commanding victory in the $500,000 Garden City Stakes over the inner turf Sept. 14 at Belmont Park.
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez gave Alterite a perfect stalking trip before she launched her bid in the stretch to overtake 5-2 favorite Discreet Marq, who set a pedestrian pace in the 1 ⅛-mile test for 3-year-old fillies.
Chad Brown trains the winning daughter of Literato for Martin Schwartz. Group 1-placed at Longchamp in May, Alterite was making her first start since finishing sixth in the Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks) at Chantilly June 16.
Alterite prevailed by about two lengths in a slow time of 1:50.55 over firm turf. Discreet Marq held on for second, with even-running Concise third in a field of 10.
Ecurie La Vallee Martigny bred Alterite in France, where she was trained by Jean-Claude Rouget.
Discreet Marq, ridden by Garrett Gomez, took the early lead over Summer of Fun, with Concise settling nicely in third toward the inside. Alterite was just off the leading groupwhile racing away from the rail for Velazquez. Discreet Marq milked soft fractions of :25.35, :50.78, and 1:15.49 and took the lead into the stretch over Summer of Fun and Concise, with Alterite in fourth.
Given her cue at the top of the stretch, Alterite charged home on the outside of the leaders, getting the advantage past mid-stretch and drawing clear impressively.
Discreet Marq was all out for Gomez to nose out Concise and Edgar Prado for third.
Certainly a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2, Alterite won for the fourth time in 10 starts while extending her earnings to $508,797. Her best start in France was a second by a nose to Silasol in the Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint Alary May 26 at Longchamp.
A bay filly out of the Dream Well mare Ana Luna, Alterite recorded her first grade or group win in the Garden City.
Sent off as the second choice at 3-1, Alterite carried 116 pounds and paid $8, $4.30, and $4.20 while topping a $31.20 exacta. Discreet Marq, favored off her win Aug. 17 in the Del Mar Debutante, saw her three-race winning streak come to end while returning $3.90 and $3.10. Concise, a British import making her third U.S. start for trainer Graham Motion, paid $7.20 to show.
Watsdachances finished fourth, followed by Summer of Fun, Precarious, Caroline Thomas, Emollient, With Sugar On Top, and Praia. Effie Trinket scratched.