Orglandes rallies to win Zagora by a neck on Closing Day of Belmont fall meet
by Brian Bohl
Orglandes used a wide trip to overtake Candy Flower and Beautiful Lover in the stretch, showing a strong turn-of-foot to gain command in the final sixteenth in posting a win by a neck in Sunday’s $150,000 Zagora for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/2 miles on the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
The fourth running of the Zagora, the first of two stakes on Closing Day of the Belmont fall meet, saw the French-bred Orglandes win for the first time in four starts in her 5-year-old campaign, extending the meet-leading totals of both trainer Chad Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the process.
Owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael Caruso, Orglandes entered off a runner-up effort to stablemate My Sister Nat in the Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya going 1 3/8 miles on the Belmont turf on October 3.
Orglandes broke from the inside post under Ortiz, Jr., tracking in third position as 25-1 Candy Flower led the seven-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 24.92 seconds, the half in 49.63, three-quarters in 1:15.10 and a mile in 1:40.61 over firm going for the marathon event.
Dropping back to fourth position with 1 1/4 miles clocked in 2:04.64, Orglandes had plenty left heading around the final turn, responded to Ortiz, Jr.’s right-handed encouragement to bypass Always Shopping before setting her sights on Beautful Lover and Candy Flower.
With open room in front, Orglandes surged to the front and completed the course in a final time of 2:29.28, besting runner-up Beautiful Lover, who finished three-quarters of a length clear of Candy Flower in a close trifecta.
“The ground is a little loose around the turn I think and she's much better on firm turf,” said Ortiz, Jr., who leads all jockeys this meet with 32 wins. “She just kept finding herself in the turn when I asked her to run, it took a while to start going, honestly. But finally when she turned for home, she switched leads and gave me a little run and said 'this is the time' and she got there in time.”
The win marked the 27th victory of the meet for Brown, who clinched another training title and has at least shared for the top mark for conditioners in 10 consecutive Belmont fall meets. Brown also won a race named for a talented horse he trained, with Zagora capping her career with a win for him in the 2012 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
Orglandes, a daughter of Le Havre, started her campaign by running sixth in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May at Belmont before running sixth in the Grade 2 Glens Falls in August at Saratoga Race Course. After earning a season-high 89 Beyer Speed Figure for the Waya last out, Brown said she has improved as the year has progressed.
“It took her a while to come around this year,” Brown said. “I'm not so sure why she started off so poorly, we had to stop on her a couple times and just kind of get her back into form. She might just be a fall-time horse, but two good races in a row, and its nice to finally get a win especially named after a horse I trained, Zagora, so it was a nice win."
Off as the 3-5 favorite, Orglandes returned $3.50 on a $2 win bet. She improved her career earnings to $307,022. The horse breaking from the inner post won the first five races on NYRA's Sunday card.
Beautiful Lover, trained by Christophe Clement and ridden by Joel Rosario, rebounded from a fifth-place effort in the Waya to earn black type for the first time since finishing third in the All Along in September 2020 at Laurel Park.
"It looked for a second like we were going to get there,” Rosario said. “The other horse ran us down in the last part, but my horse ran very well."
Following Candy Flower as Hungry Kitten, Lovely Lucky, Always Shopping and Go Big Blue Nation.
With racing concluding at Belmont, action will racing action will now shift to Aqueduct Racetrack. Highlighted by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap on December 4, the 15-day Aqueduct fall meet will begin on Thursday, November 11 and continue through Sunday, December 5.
New York City has established strict vaccine requirements for nearly all indoor settings. Accordingly, and in compliance with New York City law, anyone seeking to enter Aqueduct Racetrack must show proof of vaccination in order to gain admittance.
Admission to Aqueduct, which will be open to the public on live race days only, is free of charge. The gates will open daily at 11 a.m. First post during the Aqueduct fall meet is 12:30 p.m.
Fans visiting Aqueduct should use the Clubhouse Entrance to provide the required proof of vaccination. Preferred parking will be $10 daily in the Clubhouse lot and general parking will be in the Conduit lot. All parking fees must be paid via credit card.
For additional information, visit NYRA.com.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.