by Brian Bohl
Instilled Regard bests stablemate Devamani to complete Chad Brown-trained exacta in Fort Marcy (G2).
OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard overtook Somelikeithotbrown at the top of the stretch and outlasted stablemate Devamani by a neck to lead an exacta for trainer Chad Brown in the Grade 2, $150,000 Fort Marcy for 4-year-olds and up on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 44th running of the Fort Marcy, kicking off four consecutive stakes on the first Saturday of the Belmont spring/summer meet, saw Somelikeithotbrown lead the nine-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.89 seconds and the half in 49.96 on the inner turf labeled good following earlier afternoon rain.
Off as the 2-1 favorite in bidding for his third career graded stakes win, Instilled Regard was forwardly placed by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and gained command from the outside of Somelikeithotbrown, driving strong to the finish to complete 1 1/8 miles in a final time of 1:47.07.
The 5-year-old son of Arch started his campaign with a strong account of himself against some of the country’s top turf horses, finishing third in the Grade 1, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on January 25 at Gulfstream Park.
After running off the board last out in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial on March 21 at Fair Grounds, Instilled Regard returned to form and improved to 4-3-4 in 17 career starts. He returned $6.40 on a $2 win wager and improved his career earnings to $763,240.
“He got a beautiful trip. Irad rode him with a lot of confidence,” Brown said. “He had been training well. I was a little concerned today. He likes the ground firm and there was a lot of moisture. I’m very proud of this horse that he actually handled some moisture in the ground on the Belmont course. It was a relief to see that. I know he’s better on firm turf, but he showed a lot of guts today. The turf is not that soft, but there definitely is some give in it.”
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