Brilliant Bridgetown Scores in Summer Stakes

Brilliant Bridgetown Scores in Summer Stakes
Photo: Michael Burns
Bridgetown leaves the rest behind in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine.

Bridgetown   surged past favored Stormy Lord in the stretch and held sway to win the $286,891 Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) (VIDEO) on the Woodbine lawn Sept. 19, locking up a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf with the victory.

Eugene Melnyk's flashy homebred son of Speightstown   defeated nine 2-year-old rivals in the Summer and has now posted consecutive wins for trainer Kenneth McPeek. After scoring by 5 1/4 lengths in his maiden win on the Saratoga turf Aug. 14 at 5 1/2 furlongs, the extra distance proved to be little problem for the chestnut colt. He won the one-mile "Breeders' Cup Challenge" test around one turn by 1 1/2 lengths in a smart 1:35.04 over firm going.

"I still had a lot of horse," said winning jockey Robert Landry. "They would have had to do a lot to get by him. He could be a serious horse."

The charging Becky's Kitten nosed Fantastico Roberto for second, with the stalking Mobil Unit a neck back in fourth.

Breaking on top from the far outside, Bridgetown settled on the outside of Stormy Lord, who skipped along at a rapid clip (:22.98, :45.77, 1:10.32) with Mobil Unit pushing them along in third. Bridgetown bid for the lead in upper stretch when Stormy Lord began to falter, and opened up a sizable advantage approaching the final furlong. He won under a hand ride from Landry.

Becky's Kitten, ridden Julien Leparoux, and the Irish-bred Fantastico Roberto, with Chris DeCarlo aboard, closed much ground in deep stretch but couldn't threaten the winner.

Bridgetown was making his Woodbine debut for McPeek after two earlier starts on the turf. He began his career with a runner-up finish at five furlongs on the Churchill Downs lawn June 27 prior to his eye-catching win at Saratoga last time out.

"I've been very fortunate to ride a lot of nice horses. This is another great win," said Landry after his first trip aboard Bridgetown. "(McPeek) wanted me to try to settle him without getting in a fight with him. He settled nice. When the time (came), he really responded well."

The Florida-bred  Bridgetown is out of Ellesmere, by Tabasco Cat. the victory was worth $168,732 and boosted the winner's earnings to $206,612.

Sent off as the third choice, Bridgetown paid $10.80, $6.30 and $5, topping a $2 exacta worth $77.40. Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Becky's Kitten, who won his turf debut over maidens in his turf debut over 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga for trainer Wesley Ward, returned $8.60 and $5.90. Fantastico Roberto, a recent purchase by Team Valor International, was $6 to show.

Mobil Unit was followed by Stormy Lord, Korvette Kid, Yesnabay, Benestar, Ruhtro and Personal Signal.

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