by Najja Thompson
Making her North American debut for owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown, Homerique finished with a devastating late kick besting stablemate Competitionofideas by a half-length to capture the Grade 3, $200,000 Beaugay on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Sent off as the 4-5 mutuel favorite with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, Homerique stalked from the back of the pack as Chipolata led the field of six through fractions of 26.87 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 52.86.
As the field approached the quarter-pole, Homerique, moving up to fifth-position, was swung wide at the top of the stretch as Competitionofideas found her way along the rail from third. With Chipolata giving way in the late stretch, Homerique closed fast and overtook Competitionofideas in the final yards to secure the victory, completing 1 1/16 miles in a final time of 1:44.76 on the firm inner turf.
Homerique launched her career in France under the tutelage of Francis-Henri Graffard where she was a Group 3 winner.
“For the first time in the country, that was impressive,” said Ortiz, Jr. “She’s a nice filly. She did everything right. There wasn’t too much speed or too much pace in the race, so I knew it probably wouldn’t a problem with her because even if she doesn’t break that good, she was going to be close to the pace because they’ll go slow. She finishes [strong]. I think when she goes a little longer, she’s going to be better.”
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