USA: Trinniberg tonic after Ryan breaks down
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By Nicholas Godfrey in New York
Belmont Park: Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade 2) 7f, dirt, 3yo
THERE were mixed emotions at Belmont Park on Saturday when Trinniberg (Bisnath Parboo/Willie Martinez) made all to take the Woody Stephens, one of four graded contests on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Last seen pushing Bodemeister in the first half of the Kentucky Derby, Trinniberg certainly appreciated the drop right back in trip for this $400,000 event, comfortably holding off Currency Swap to score by a length and three-quarters.
But only 90 minutes earlier the same trainer and jockey had been involved in a sickening incident when their popular sprinter Giant Ryan broke down in front of the stands in the closing stages of the Grade 2 True North Handicap.
The six-year-old, a Grade 1 winner last year, appeared to take a bad step a furlong out. Willie Martinez pulled him up but he could not prevent the horse going down in full view of the packed stands.
Everyone was prepared for the worst as a screen was erected in an attempt to shield the stricken horse from racegoers but Giant Ryan, to cheers from the crowd, got to his feet and was able to walk into an equine ambulance.
It emerged later that he had broken his near-fore ankle, suffering sesamoid and ligament damage.
Two races later, Trinniberg stopped the clock in 1m22.26s in an impressive victory – carrying the same colours as Giant Ryan, those of Shivananda Parbhoo(sic), the trainer’s son.
“I know this horse is capable of going fast,” said the owner. “I don’t think any three-year-old is going to be able to run with him.”
Martinez described the victory as bittersweet. “It doesn’t get any better than this and we believe he’s one of the top sprinters in the country right now,” he said. “But we’re still sad with what happened earlier to Giant Ryan.”
Also on Saturday
Belmont Park: True North Hcap (Grade 2) 6f, dirt, 3yo+
The favourite Caixa Eletronica (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) flew down the stretch to claim a race marred by the Giant Ryan incident.
After sitting off a fiercely contested pace, the rock-hard seven-year-old picked up the pieces with a strong late charge from the rear to win by three-quarters of a length over Justin Philip.
View the original article at the Racing Post