Measured Time much the best in G1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan | Belmont Stakes
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Jun 8, 2024
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Measured Time much the best in G1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan

by Keith McCalmont

Godolphin’s British homebred Measured Time utilized a prominent trip under William Buick to best his Charlie Appleby-trained stablemate Nations Pride by two lengths in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Resorts World Casino Manhattan, a 1 3/16-mile Mellon turf test for older horses, at Saratoga Race Course.

The 4-year-old Frankel colt, out of the Street Cry mare Minidress, is a half-brother to multiple Group/Grade 1-winner Rebel’s Romance – an earner of nearly $9 million across 13 wins, including the Group 1 Champions and Chater Cup last month at Sha Tin for Appleby and Buick.

Rebel’s Romance is slated to make an appearance at the Spa this summer in the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Del Mar.

Measured Time made his stateside debut after a trio of starts this winter in Dubai where he captured the Group 2 Al Rashidiya in December and the Group 1 Jebel Hatta in January. He arrived in New York from a close fourth on March 30 in the Group 1 Dubai Turf when 1 1/4-lengths back of the victorious Facteur Cheval.

"This was our most confident race of the meet this weekend. Measured Time is a horse that is, as you certainly know well, a half-brother to Rebel's Romance,” Appleby said. “We've earmarked this for some time thinking that the American tracks would suit him. Obviously, we saw what he did in Dubai. That kind of track, nice level tracks, suit him. He's a big striding horse. It's a decision we made and then it was let him get on with it today and try and make our own run rather than get him in a tangle. You try and organize a horse like him and he finds it hard. He's happy going on.

"We were confident stepping up to the 10 [furlongs] today,” Appleby added. “We feel he could stretch out to a mile-and-a-half. We'll take the Breeders' Cup [Turf] into consideration.”

Strong Quality broke alertly from post 4 under Florent Geroux but Measured Time was also quick to the front, leading the field into the first turn through an opening quarter-mile in 23.14 seconds over the firm footing.

Geroux reestablished control briefly down the backstretch as Measured Time pressed the tempo from second position through a half-mile in 48.34 with multiple Grade 1-winner Program Trading stalking in third to the outside of Ohana Honor in front of the tracking tandem of Nations Pride and Far Bridge.

Buick could wait no longer as the tightly bunched field advanced into the final turn and Measured Time easily took control under little urging, while Flavien Prat asked Program Trading for his best.

Despite drifting out once straightened away, Measured Time was never threatened en route to an impressive victory in a final time of 1:51.94. Nations Pride closed well to complete the exacta by a neck over the dead-heated pair of Ohana Honor and Far Bridge in third. Program Trading, Al Riffa, I’m Very Busy and Strong Quality completed the order of finish.

Buick said he felt comfortable throughout.

“It was always the plan to go forward, sit forward. He's a horse you never feel like you are going quick enough, so I was happy where I was,” Buick said. “He was a bit competitive early on, but I always felt he was in a nice rhythm, and he's a real powerful galloper, as you saw there. He's still got a bit to learn, like he ran out on the home bend, and it doesn't feel like he's a finished article just yet, but he sure has the raw talent.

"I wanted to build him up early,” Buick continued. “As you saw, the further he was going, the better he was going. I'm delighted and I think he's a horse that could reach some bigger targets here in North America.”

The victory was a redemptive one for the Appleby team, who saw Siskany finish seventh in the Group 2 Belmont Gold Cup on Opening Day of the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. On Friday, English Rose was off-the-board in the Grade 1 New York presented by Rivers Casino before showings improved earlier on Saturday’s card with Mysterious Night running second in the Grade 3 Poker and Star of Mystery and Mischief Magic finishing third and fifth, respectively, in the Grade 1 Jaipur presented by Resolute Racing.

“We're just delighted to get one across the line today,” Appleby said. “It was a long weekend, but he was the most important horse of the team. I can't thank everyone here at Saratoga enough, and everyone in America. They've been great and tremendously supportive."

Appleby was also buoyed by the late effort from dual Grade 1-winner Nations Pride, who moved forward from a third-place finish as the favorite last out in the 11-furlong Grade 2 Man o’ War at Belmont at the Big A.

“I thought he was coming with a run and if the horse on the front end [Measured Time] did falter, one thing Nations Pride was going to do was finish strong. And he did,” Appleby said. “Great to have him back being competitive again. He's a horse who might go to Kentucky. I feel he's realistically a 10-furlong horse. At a mile-and-a-half he's a bit keen. The mile-and-a-quarter seems to be his game.”

Measured Time banked $550,000 in victory, while improving his record to 8-6-1-0. He returned $8.20 for a $2 win bet.

Live racing resumes Sunday at Saratoga for Closing Day of the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival that kicks off with the Grade 1 Beverly R. Steinman Hurdle Handicap in Race 1 before the New York Showcase Day program begins with six state-bred stakes worth $900,000, headlined by a pair of nine-furlong $200,000 contests for 3-year-olds and up in the Commentator and the Critical Eye for fillies and mares. First post on the 12-race card is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.

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