Violon Sacre unleashed a powerful late run to win the $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park by a length over pacesetter Whatsthescript.
Ridden by Pablo Fragoso, Violon Sacre dropped back soon after the start and raced in sixth as Whatsthescript led the field of seven through an opening half-mile in 51.94 over the yielding turf course. Maneuvered to the outside on the far turn, Violon Sacre began picking off his rivals and kicked into high gear once in the lane, speeding through the final furlong to complete the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.62 (VIDEO).
“He has a huge turn of foot,” said Patrick Biancone, who trains the 5-year-old son of Stravinsky for Bernard Weill. “He seems to be improving with every race. In Europe (where the Kentucky-bred first raced), he was just below the good horses. Some horses come to the United States and do not acclimate well; he has.”
The victory was Violon Sacre’s third in five starts and first in a graded stakes since coming to the United States from France earlier this year.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Violon Sacre returned $3.70, $2.70, and $2.50, and earned $60,000 to increase his bankroll to $489,392. Overall, he has won 10 or 17 races.
Whatsthescript, who returned to racing in July after spending the first part of the year at stud, held on gamely to finish 1 1/2 lengths in front of Baletti. Completing the order of finish were War Hoot, Wesley, Operation Red Dawn, and Interpatation. Grade I winner Presious Passion was among those scratched.
Ocala Horses is the breeder of Violon Sacre, who was produced from the Kendor mare Histoire Sainte.