Gustavian gives husband-wife team victory in Lonesome Glory
By Jon Forbes | 09/19/2013 05:17 PM ET
Gustavian jumped the final fence cleanly and made a late surge to nip All Together by a nose and win the Grade 1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap steeplechase for 4-year-olds and up on Thursday at Belmont Park.
A 7-year-old gelding owned by Magalen O. Bryant, Gustavian was ridden to victory by Paddy Young and is trained by the jockey's wife, Leslie Young.
Gustavian tracked the pacesetters in third for the majority of the race and offered a challenge as the field turned for home. All Together swooped to the lead before bobbling after jumping over the 11th and final fence, and Gustavian took advantage of his opponent's miscue by rallying along the inside to get his nose down on the wire first.
The final time for 2 ½ miles over hurdles was 4:35.92.
"I've ridden him most of his career," said Paddy Young, who added that this was the biggest win he has shared with his wife. "He doesn't win many races - he likes running second a lot. He loves this big, galloping track. He's a great jumper. The thing I liked about him today is that he actually chased that horse when it passed him, which sometimes he doesn't do. He stuck his head out at the right time today."
It was Gustavian's first win since he captured the William Entenmann novice stakes last September at Belmont. He closed out his 2012 campaign with a third in the Foxbrook Champion novice stakes in October at Far Hills. In two starts this year, he was a distant third in the Grade 3 Temple Gwathmey Handicap in April at Middleburg and second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 3 National Hunt Cup on May 18 at Malvern.
"Last year we opted to skip Saratoga," said Leslie Young. "Not that he can't run over firm ground, but it gets a little firmer over the summer. We opted for the same plan [this year]. We freshened him up, happy and healthy coming into Belmont, a big, galloping track. He liked it last year, so we thought, 'Why not for a big Grade 1 like this?'"
Leslie Young added that Gustavian likely will make his next start in the Grade 1 Grand National on October 19 at Far Hills.
Gustavian improved his record over jumps to 4-7-1 in 13 starts and earned $90,000 for his Lonesome Glory victory. He has earned $275,219 in his career, $208,300 over jumps.
Italian Wedding, part of a coupled entry that went off as the 8-5 favorite, finished third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths. Demonstrative, Spy in the Sky, Hunt Ball, Divine Fortune, The Grey Express, and Black Quartz completed the order of finish. Molotof was scratched.