Serve The King Rallies Late To Win Red Smith At Aqueduct - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Serve The King Rallies Late To Win Red Smith At Aqueduct

Calumet Farm's Channel Cat looked poised to take the field gate to wire in the Red Smith at Aqueduct, but Serve the King's late rally in the stretch gave the Chad Brown trainee enough to pass Channel Cat in the final sixteenth of a mile and take the Grade 2 stakes by a neck at the Ozone Park, N.Y., track.

From the break in the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith, Channel Cat took a one-length lead over the field of ten, setting early fractions of :24.96, :50.02, and 1:15.59, a moderate pace that left John Velazquez with plenty of horse for the stretch run. Serve the King hung back in fifth, nestled on the rail behind No Word and Price Talk. Around the far turn, No Word pulled within striking distance of Channel Cat, while Irad Ortiz Jr. moved Serve the King off the rail and to the outside of horses, six-wide into the stretch.

Down the Aqueduct straight, Channel Cat was able to shake off the challenge from No Word and increase his lead, but Ortiz had Serve the King set down for a drive, taking over the lead in the last strides to win by a neck over Channel Cat and a surging Soldier Rising. No Word was fourth and Shamrocket fifth. Corelli, Sanctuary City, Value Engineering, Price Talk, and Tide of the Sea rounded out the order of finish.

The final time for the 1 3/8 miles was 2:16.60. Find this race's chart here.

Serve the King paid $6.10, $3.80, and $2.60. Channel Cat paid $6.00 and $4.20. Soldier Rising paid $3.30.

“At a certain point of the race, he [Irad Ortiz, Jr.] said he just wanted to get him clear because he was losing the bit a little bit while inside. Once he got him to the clear, he picked up the bit again,
trainer Chad Brown said after the race. “A lot of credit goes to my Monmouth crew, who really did a good job helping this horse. As a younger horse, he was a little bit quirky and wouldn't want to train all the time and for whatever reason down there he has a comfortable situation and would train on. That's why he spent a lot of his time down there.”

“I had a really good trip. He broke sharp and was forwardly placed. He put me in a good position, so I saved all the ground for the whole race. At the half-mile, I started moving and he responded really well. I was able to tip him out and when he hit the clear, he was running,” Irad Ortiz Jr. told the NYRA Press Office after the Red Smith. “He was off the bit sometimes, but that's him. He's not a horse that's going to pull you all the way. That's not him. Sometimes, you have to wake him up and let him know he's running. He's there for you, that's the good thing.”

Bred in England by Normandie Stud, Serve the King is by Kingman (GB) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Fallen In Love (GB). The 5-year-old horse is owned by Peter Brant. Consigned by Norris Bloodstock, the son of Kingman was purchased by White Birch Stable for $361,616 at the 2017 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. With his win in the G2 Red Smith, Serve the King has two wins in five starts in 2021, for a lifetime record of five wins in 11 starts and career earnings of $406,180.

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