Take D' Tour enjoyed the scenic route on the front end to gain her fourth consecutive victory, a resounding 5 1/2-length triumph in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares Satrday at Belmont Park.
The David Fawkes-trained 5-year-old Florida-bred Tour d'Or notched her sixth successive one-turn victory for Alice Muller, completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:42 3/5. The previous five wins came all at the one-mile distance.
Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) heroine Spun Sugar, the even-money choice in the field of seven, broke sluggishly and was never a factor as she struggled home fourth.
The first time Cornelio Velasquez teamed with Take D' Tour, they captured the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont in the chestnut mare's last start May 21. Saturday's win was every bit as easy.
After a slow start, Take D' Tour soon overtook Grecian Lover for the lead and set solid fractions of :23 2/5, :46 and 1:10 1/5. She was 2 1/2 lengths clear of Nothing But Fun and Richard Migliore at the head of the stretch and kept widening her edge through the lane. It was far back to third-place finisher Balletto, who trailed the field for much of the way.
"She didn't break all that well today," said the Calder-based Fawkes, an Illinois native who recorded his first grade I victory Saturday. "She kind of did that once before. We kind of thought Cornelio was pumping a bit too much on her, but she got to the lead fairly easily.
"She really fell into our program in Miami. She had some bleeding issues. Once we got those under control, her health really improved. It's a lot of fun to watch her run them off their feet. I don't know what we'll do next. She's not Breeders' Cup nominated."
Bred by Paul Muller, Take D' Tour has a career record of 7-5-0 in 16 starts. Her biggest win yet pushed her earnings to $388,240.
She paid $8.70, $6.10, and $3.90. Nothing But Fun returned $7.40 and $5.80. Balletto, ridden by Javier Castellano, was $4.80 to show.
Spun Sugar was followed by Bending Strings, Grecian Lover, and In the Gold.
Spun Sugar's jockey, John Velazquez, commented, "I don't know what happened to her. She just wasn't herself."