Disco Partner wins Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational with picture-perfect closing move

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

NYRA/Rob Mauhar

By Sarah Mace

Frank and Patricia Generazio’s homebred Disco Partner put another feather in his cap Saturday when he won the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational over the inner turf course on the Jockey Club Gold Cup undercard.

Sent off as the prohibitive 1-5 favorite, the popular grey obliged backers with his hallmark late winning move. The Generazios and trainer Christophe Clement, who also have Pure Sensation in the barn, are in the enviable position of having to decide whether to run one or both in the 5-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4.

Five-year-old Disco Partner has already had a stellar year, winning three of four starts for Clement following a successful three-year run with Jimmy Ryerson,

Disco Partner kicked off the year by winning the Elusive Quality at Belmont on good turf on April 17. On June 10 Disco Partner made headlines when he set a world record for six furlongs on the turf in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational on the Widener at Belmont Park (1:05.67). Next out, he opened our eyes even wider, when he successfully stretched out to a mile in the Forbidden Apple Stakes on July 15.

The only wrinkle in Disco Partner’s form came last out, when he finished sixth in the one-mile, Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course after a six-wide trip over a yielding turf course.

Originally named as “possible” for the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile on September 16, Disco Partner’s connections opted for the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, which would represent a return to his favorite track (six wins and two seconds from ten Belmont starts) and best distance (three wins and two seconds in six tries at six furlongs, while earning Beyers of 109 and 105 in back-to-back efforts in the Jaipur and Forbidden Apple).

In the early stages of Belmont Turf Sprint, Disco Partner set up in fourth (of five) in the two-path, nearly three lengths behind pacesetter Bold Thunder, who set aggressive early fractions of 22.06 and 44.59.

Fanning three-wide at the head of the lane, then shifting out four-wide, Disco engaged and tackled his rivals in the final furlong, cruising past Snowday, Bold Thunder and Ready for Rye.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

The grey hit the front with a sixteenth to go and edged off to a 1 1/4-length victory under a confident and immobile Irad Ortiz, Jr. The final time of 1:06.97 was just off the 1:06.87 course record set by Gantry in 2011. Ready for Rye in second, Snowday and We Dear You were each separated by a neck, while pacesetter Bold Thunder brought up the rear. [RACE REPLAY]

“I knew he was going to be there when I asked him so I just tried to wait as long as I can,” said Ortiz.

“I knew the speed was going to come back to me, so I just followed Albertrani’s horse [Ready for Rye], Ortiz continued.  “I knew he was good to follow, because he was going to bring me to the quarter-pole, and Bold Thunder – six furlongs sometimes a little too far for him, so I just tried to wait as long as I can and tried not to move too early.

“He’s a nice horse. He gives me a nice kick. He probably wasn’t as fast today as he was on that day [in the Jaipur] but he is still a nice horse. I think he is one of the best sprinters around right now.”

Clement commented, “He’s fast. Irad said he was always in control. He’s a fine horse. He loves Belmont, he loves training here. It was like a morning workout for him. As a trainer, I don’t [control] the time. As long as he comes back safe, I’m very happy with it.”

Clement added, “Where we go next, I’m not sure.” He pointed out that he and the Generazios are sitting pretty four weeks out from the Breeders Cup. “I’m very lucky I have two top-class sprinters. We won the [Grade 3 Turf Monster] race at Parx [on September 4] with Pure Sensation and [Disco Partner] wins here. So, they can make the decision on who goes to the Breeders’ Cup. That’ll be up to Mr. and Mrs. Generazio.” Disco Partner’s owners would need to pay $100,000 to supplement him to the Breeders’ Cup.

“It’s a great problem to have,” Clement continued. “If they want, I’ll take both of them. One has more natural speed [Pure Sensation], this one has the most amazing turn of foot. In three strides, he can just get there. Maybe it’s a good team to run together.”

On Disco Partner’s prospects for cutting back successfully in distance for the Breeders’ Cup, Clement said, “I didn’t think he could do it, but Irad came back and he’s convinced that he’s fast enough to run five furlongs.”

A third-generation Generazio homebred, who was foaled at Keane Stud in Amenia, Disco Partner is out of Lulu’s Number (Numerous), a New Jersey-bred multiple winner of over $200,000 trained by Ben Perkins, Jr. Patricia Generazio bred Disco Partner’s second dam Mary Lou’s Magic (Concord Dream) in Florida. The winning mare was trained by Frank.

As a broodmare, Lulu’s Number has produced five winners from seven starters, including Don Six’s Number (Don Six), a stakes performer and earner of $212,686. Lulu’s Number has a 2-year-old filly by Posse named Lulu’s Partner, and delivered a colt by First Samurai on February 14, 2017. She was bred this year to Into Mischief.

A winner of nine of 20 races, with four seconds and two thirds, Disco Partner has bankrolled $823,810.




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