Seismic Wave thunders home in English Channel
by Najja Thompson
Making his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Hill Prince on October 5, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Seismic Wave rallied from last to win the $100,000 English Channel for 3-year-olds on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 4 at odds of 9-2 with Jose Ortiz aboard, Seismic Wave trailed the field of eight as Call Me Harry went to the front setting fractions of 23.36 seconds for the opening quarter mile with Halladay assuming the lead through a half-mile in 46.54 on the firm Widener turf.
Halladay maintained a narrow lead to the quarter-pole as 7-5 post-time favorite Front Run the Fed launched a menacing bid. Seismic Wave, last-of-eight at the half-mile call, swung out six-wide in the upper stretch and was sent into a full drive by Ortiz. Front Run the Fed grabbed the lead at the sixteenth-pole, but Seismic Wave would not be denied extending away to a half-length score.
He completed the one-mile distance in a final time of 1:34.37.
"I had a good trip. It was a good setup in front of me," said Ortiz, who notched his fourth stakes win of the meet. "I was just trying to be patient and going to the quarter-pole, I didn't want to move yet, and I felt [Chilly in Charge, No. 2] going around me. I took my time and let him go, and it worked out perfectly."
Returning $11.40 for a $2 win wager, the Tapit colt boosted his bankroll to $305,150. Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott also picked up his third win of the day with the victory and second stakes win of the meet following the Point of Entry with Red Knight on October 13.
It was the first win for Seismic Wave since capturing the one-mile Cutler Bay in March at Gulfstream Park, which was followed by six stakes starts at 1 1/16-miles or greater. Assistant trainer Leana Willaford said the turnback in distance for the English Channel was key.
"We felt like he needed a little more pace to run into and it set up well for him today. He had been running in longer races and with no pace up front, it was taking away from his kick, and he hasn't been able to pick them up," said Willaford.
Following Front Run the Fed in second was Halladay, Chilly in Charge, Bourbon War, Power Player, Call Me Harry and Digital Footprint.