Untamed Domain, racing with blinkers for the first time, overcame a less than ideal start and rallied relentlessly under jockey Joe Bravo to prevail by a long neck in Sunday’s Grade 2 Summer Stakes at one mile on the turf course.
The $200,000 Summer, a Breeder’s Cup “Win and You’re In” race, gives Untamed Domain an automatic berth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.
“This horse is a big horse; he needs a little bit of learning,” said Bravo, who rode Untamed Domain for trainer Graham Motion and West Point Thoroughbreds Inc.
Bravo, who was winning his second Summer after guiding Conquest Daddyo to victory in the 2015 running, credited the change of equipment with the stakes breakthrough by Untamed Domain.
“The whole puzzle really came together today,” said Bravo. “Graham did a great job by putting the blinkers on for the first time.”
El Dulce went straight to the front to the mark the quarter in :23.89 with Hemp Hemp Hurray stalking intently on the outside and Admiralty Pier on the rail and Count Alexander fourth on the outside.
Untamed Domain had moved up into fifth on the rail as the leaders remained unchanged on the far turn and the half went by in :47.53.
Bravo had room to swing his horse to the outside and while Count Alexander loomed large turning for home, it was Hemp Hemp Hurray who took charge in the stretch after El Dulce had clung to the lead through six furlongs in 1:11.65.
Hemp Hemp Hurray, the 1.75-1 choice, ran on well but was unable to contain the late charge of second choice Untamed Domain, who stopped the clock in 1:34.73.
“Perfect trip,” said John Velazquez, who took down Saturday’s Woodbine Mile aboard World Approval. “He was a little bit strong the first part of the race and that was it. He didn’t have enough to fight down the lane.”
Admiralty Pier ended another 1 /2-length back in third, ¾-lengths before fourth-place Count Alexander.
El Dulce faltered to fifth with Follow My Lead, Differential and Empirically rounding out the order of finish.
“He’s a very big horse that is just learning and my main thing was just to get him plenty of room and keep him out of trouble turning for home,” said Bravo.” I had to swing three-wide and he just levelled off so beautifully. Graham knew what he had, he knows he has a special horse.”
The Summer was the second major win here this weekend for Motion, who sent out Quidura to win Saturday’s Grade 2 Canadian Stakes.
Untamed Domain was making his fourth career start and recording his second victory. He had experienced trouble on three of those occasions, including a last-out third-place finish in Saratoga’s With Anticipation.
The Kentucky-bred colt by Animal Kingdom, the superstar 2011 Kentucky Derby champ who was trained by Motion, was a $90,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale.
Untamed Domain returned $8.00, $4.40, and $2.90 as the second choice and combined with Hemp Hemp Hurray ($3.10, $2.60) for a 1-6 exacta worth $24.50. Admiralty Pier ($3.80) completed a 1-6-4 trifecta which yielded $55.20 for $1 and Count Alexander rounded out the $1 superfecta of 1-4-6-7 which came back at $196.55.