Coming off a victory in the May 24 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park, Juddmonte Farms' versatile homebred Riposte continued her winning ways with a quick turn of foot June 28 in the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO).
Although she won the 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay with a wire-to-wire run on yielding ground, the 4-year-old daughter of Dansili was unhurried early by jockey Joel Rosario in the 1 1/4-mile New York Stakes. Off a step slow and then positioned fourth off opening fractions of :24.98 and :49.86 set by 14-1 shot Viva Rafaela, Riposte galloped clear well back on the outside while Gathering and Scampering pressed the pace through three-quarters in 1:13.32.
Building steam around the final turn, Riposte improved her position and ranged up for a 1:36.69 mile while putting away Viva Rafaela and Gathering three wide. She shifted over while kicking clear with a good burst of speed from the head of the lane under confident handling and held sway 1 1/4 lengths beyond the late advance of Tannery in the final furlong.
Final time was 1:59.71 on the firm inner turf.
"Last time, there was no speed," Rosario said. "Today, I just let her run her race. I rode her in Florida when she came from off the pace. She can do anything. She's a little filly, but it looks like she can do a lot of things. I tried to get on the outside. I didn't want to be caught wide, but I wanted a clean trip and not get stuck inside. She got the job done today."
The victory was the second in as many starts at Belmont for Riposte and her second score in North America for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. A group II winner in England, Riposte is out of the Rainbow Quest mare Rainbow Lake, and is a half sister to $1.9-million earner Powerscourt, winner of the 2004 Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) and the 2005 Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Earlier this year Riposte had a trio of good efforts, getting a runner-up finish by a neck in a second-level allowance race at nine furlongs April 11 on the Keeneland turf, a second in the Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIT) in February at Gulfstream Park followed by a third in the Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) in March at Tampa Bay Downs.
"I think the longer distances have probably helped her," Mott said. "She broke a little slow, so she was fourth instead of second or third, but she was still within range of the leaders. She rated very nicely and kicked very well. She punched pretty good off a slow pace.
"We have nothing planned for her right now. It's too close to run her back in the Diana (gr. IT, July 19 at Saratoga Race Course), so she won't do that."
Riposte won twice in her native England including a score in the 1 1/2-mile Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot last June. The New York victory improved her record to 4-3-1 from 11 starts, with earnings of $460,968.
Favored at odds of 6-5 in a group of six older fillies and mares, Riposte paid $4.60, $2.70, and $2.40 while 3-2 second choice Tannery brought $2.70 and $2.50. Viva Rafaela paid $4.10 as Scampering, Gathering, and Inimitable Romanee completed the order of finish.