Flintshire Dominated American Turf in Longines Sword Dancer
Flintshire Dominated American Turf in Longines Sword Dancer: Juddmonte Farms’ European sensation Flintshire continued his dominance of the American turf Saturday afternoon with a 1 ¾-length victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Longines Sword Dancer at Saratoga Race Course.
Flintshire settled at the back of the seven-horse field, saving ground along the hedge as Inordinate, also owned by Juddmonte and trained by Chad Brown, hustled to the lead. Under Aaron Gryder, Inordinate set early fractions of 23.18 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 46.16 for the half and 1:11.04 for three-quarters with Roman Approval and Applicator the closest in pursuit. Flintshire was patiently handled by Javier Castellano as the 6-year-old son of Dansili begged for running room as the field converged in the final turn.
Castellano angled through a seam at the top of the stretch left by a tiring Inordinate and unleashed Flintshire to draw clear to win the Sword Dancer, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Turf, over fellow Brown trainee Money Multiplier.
“I am very lucky and fortunate,” Castellano said. “The way I rode this horse [I tried] to save some ground. Everyone ended up in the same position and I had to make my own decision and use my best judgment and it worked out. I was very lucky to go and cut through on the rail and accelerate. He is a phenomenal horse. I’ve never seen any horse with that much acceleration on the grass.”
Flintshire, who won the Sword Dancer in his lone North American start last year while under the care of French trainer Andre Fabre, returned $2.40 for a $2 win wager as the 1-5 favorite. The winning time for 1 ½ miles on the inner turf was 2:23.45.
Money Multiplier, who, like his stablemate, traveled well behind the pace, closed for second, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Twilight Eclipse. Grand Tito, Inordinate, Roman Approval and Applicator completed the order of finish.
A perfect 3-for-3 in 2016, Flintshire improves his career record to 8 wins, 10 seconds and a third from 22 starts and earnings of 8,809,910.
“I’ve never seen anything like him outside of Lady Eli. He’s the greatest horse I’ve ever seen,” said Brown of Flintshire.
“He came to me a great racehorse,” he continued. “I just try to keep him happy and healthy. Give credit to my team. They have kept him in top form.”
Source: Heather Pettinger, NYRA
Longines Sword Dancer 2016 Flintshire Replay: