Winless in his last 17 starts dating back to September 2007, Interpatation was allowed to coast through easy fractions in the 1 1/2-mile Turf Classic, but when a tracking Gio Ponti caught the longshot at the top of the lane it seemed as though he was running for second. But soon after being headed, the son of Langfuhr came back on Gio Ponto, edging away under Robby Albarado until he scored a 1 3/4-length victory on the “soft” turf course. The final time was 2:41.22.
Remarkably, it was the first graded stakes win for Interpatation since he took the Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park back in March 2005.
“It was great. Great!” said overjoyed trainer Bobby Barbara. “I was waiting for him one day to pick his head up and do it right. He did it right, on the perfect day. This horse made $700,000 the hard way, and now he’s over a million in one day!”
Gio Ponti, the leading older turf horse in the nation, came into the race having won four consecutive grade I races. The 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat had a perfect stalking trip under Ramon Dominguez, as he tracked in fourth in the early going, moved three-wide into contention on the far turn, and took over nearing the eighth-pole. Making his first start at 12 furlongs, the colt may have been winded in the final furlong.
“He handled the (soft) going well. He just got a little tired at the end,” Dominguez said.”
Telling, upset winner of the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) last out, crossed the wire third under Javier Castellano, but was disqualified for interfering with Grand Couturier in upper stretch. Grand Couturier was placed third.
A major reason Interpatation was able to outrun Gio Ponti in the stretch was due to the easy fractions he got away with. Though he had pressure from a pressing Al Khali, Interpatation posted pedestrian splits of :26.01, :54.22, 1:22.20, and 1:48.79 for a mile.
“I had the intention of being forwardly placed, and I ended up on the lead, galloping, in a canter,” said Albarado, who rode Interpatation for the first time. “At every point, I had plenty of horse. When Gio Ponti ran up to me, I thought, ‘Gee, maybe I can get second.’ But he didn’t get away from me, and my horse hit his stride.”
Interpatation entered the Turf Classic with seven consecutive off-the-board finishes, six of them this season. His last victory came in the Larry Riviello President’s Cup Stakes Sept. 15, 2007, at Philadelphia Park.
Bred in Kentucky by Larry Cassaday and Jack Thompson, Interpatation is out of the Habitony mare Idealistic Cause. He improved to 6-4-11 from 50 starts and bumped his earnings to $1,156,630.
The winner paid $89.50, $14.40, and $4.30. He topped an exacta (2-1) worth $230.50. The trifecta (2-1-8) was $536.
Telling was placed fourth, followed by Al Khali, and Musketier. Presious Passion, Ready’s Echo, and Winchester were scratched.
Gio Ponti trainer Christophe Clemente did not immediately say which Breeders' Cup race his horse would be pointed toward.