Long Island Sound (Grandson of Vertigineux) Competes in Belmont Derby
Long Island Sound (Grandson of Vertigineux) Competes in Belmont Derby by Reinier Macatangay: Relatives of the legendary Zenyatta hold a special place in the hearts of most fans. As time goes on, it becomes harder to keep track of them all, but a few noticed the Aidan O’Brien-trained Long Island Sound is entered this week. The 3-year-old colt competes in the $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational (GI) on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Because Long Island Sound is based overseas, he counts as a European even though his sire War Front and dam Treasure Trail are American. His career overseas started out well enough, with three wins in Ireland before a third-place finish in the Tercentenary Stakes (GIII) at Ascot, where he lost by four lengths in the nine-horse field.
Hawkbill, the winner of the Tercentenary, went on to win the Coral Eclipse Stakes (GI) in his next start, so no one should knock Long Island Sound too much for losing. Plus, the race gave him important 10-furlong experience.
Even without the experience, it is easy to tell Long Island Sound is built for 10-furlong races, at least from a pedigree standpoint. On the sire side, War Front has continually been highly regarded, and as a son of Danzig should produce horses who can win races at longer distances.
Furthermore, Treasure Trail is not only a half-sibling to 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) champion Zenyatta (who would have been a fine turf runner), but a daughter of distance-oriented Pulpit as well. Pulpit’s sire A.P. Indy continually keeps his presence felt as a superb longer-distance influence.
Look at the winner and third-place finisher of the marathon Belmont Stakes (GI) this year. Creator and Lani are both related to A.P. Indy through their sire Tapit, a son of Pulpit.
In conclusion, Long Island Sound is filled with distance influences from top to bottom.
O’Brien, who knows how to ship European-based runners and win in North America, applies Lasix for Long Island Sound, and it would be surprising if he did not give a good account of himself in the lane under Colm O’Donoghue.
As for other contenders, well, O’Brien also brings over Deauville, who last finished 11th out of 16 in the Investec Derby (GI). Considering the difficulty of the race, it seems logical to forgive the effort.
Interestingly, Deauville’s second worst run came in another Group I race, the Racing Post Trophy last October where he finished fifth out of seven. Runners who frequently lose in European Group I events are not necessarily lower in class than the best American turf horses. He competed in fields higher in class than what is in this race.
Americans will recognize, for better or worse, Deauville’s rider Jamie Spencer who has ridden in numerous important stakes races over here already.
If not sold on the O’Brien pair, a couple of the American runners are interesting and hold a decent chance.
For instance, the Barclay Tagg-trained Highland Sky always puts in a decent late kick. In his last start, the local Pennine Ridge Stakes (GIII), he finished a closing second to Camelot Kitten who shows up in this spot too.
Camelot Kitten is on a two-race win streak after winning the aforementioned Belmont race and the American Turf Stakes (GII) at Churchill Downs. Some bettors will simply place a bet on this horse because the Ramseys own him. Chad Brown conditions the son of Kitten’s Joy, and he offered a few comments for the press release.
“He likes Belmont,” said Brown. “And he is undefeated with the addition of blinkers.”
Brown also sends out Beach Patrol, who makes his second start for the barn following a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Penn Mile (GIII) to the filly Catch a Glimpse. Maybe this one can wake up under Javier Castellano.
Not surprisingly, Brown will be represented by a third horse named Call Provision, who ran a respectable third in the Pennine Ridge. John Velazquez hops on board, and he will need to figure out a trip from the far outside post. For what it is worth, Brown feels the longer distance will favor him.
“We think he’s a true 1 ¼-mile horse,” Brown said about Call Provision’s 10-furlong ability.
Clearly the task for any horse in this race is not a cinch. If Long Island Sound or his stablemate Deauville acclimate to North America though, the race will be won by a European.
Belmont Derby Invitational 2016 Post Positions & Odds
Race 8 4:38p.m. ET
1 Toughest ‘Ombre 30-1 Franco/Albertrani
2 Ralis 20-1 Gutierrez/O’Neill
3 Applicator 50-1 Reyes/Yanakov
4 Highland Sky 8-1 Saez/Tagg
5 Surgical Strike 15-1 Ortiz/Colebrook
6 Camelot Kitten 5-1 Ortiz, Jr./Brown
7 Long Island Sound 7-2 O’Donoghue/O’Brien
8 Airoforce 10-1 Leparoux/Casse
9 Beach Patrol 12-1 Castellano/Brown
10 Humphrey Bogart 5-1 Levey/Hannon
11 Aquaphobia 20-1 Bravo/Delacour
12 Call Provision 10-1 Velazquez/Brown
13 Deauville 4-1 Spencer/O’Brien