ELMONT, NY – Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive proved too strong for his five foes, sweeping to the lead in the stretch and drawing off with ease to win Sunday’s $150,000 Futurity Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
The Futurity is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Four Wheel Drive receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 4 as the 4/5 favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Four Wheel Drive initially held command out of the gate, but Jack and Noah quickly took it away from him along the outside. Bursting to a multiple-length lead, Jack and Noah set opening fractions of :21.62 and :44.33.
Midway through the far turn, despite being a handful of lengths in second behind a loose leader, a confident Ortiz, Jr., peeked back to make sure nobody was ranging up on him. Straightening for home, Four Wheel Drive tipped out and easily swung past Jack and Noah to retake the lead.
Under only mild urging in the stretch, the Wesley Ward-trained Four Wheel Drive crossed 3 lengths clear to win the 6-furlong sprint over the firm outer turf course in a final time of 1:08.07.
“I worked him before this race and I put him behind horses,” said Ortiz, Jr. “He always worked good like that and relaxed. When I asked him, he would take off like an older horse. He has a good mind. So (today), I didn’t panic. I just let him break wherever he is comfortable and then go from there because I know he didn’t have to be on the lead. He relaxed well, and when I asked, he turned on.”
Read the full article on https://racingdudes.com/four-wheel-drive-too-strong-in-futurity/