Jump Sucker Stable’s Slipstream, patiently piloted by Joel Rosario, saved all the ground before tipping out in late stretch to notch a one-length score in the Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity Stakes, a six-furlong inner turf sprint for juveniles, at Belmont Park on Oct. 10.
The victory earned Slipstream a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 2, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a five-furlong test at Del Mar on Nov. 5.
But trainer Christophe Clement said he would prefer to stretch the colt out to one-mile in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
“If it’s up to me, yes,” Clement said. “We have to see how he comes out of it and be sure the owners are on board and that everything goes well.”
Ready to March and Run Curtis Run, winner of the Rick Violette in July at Saratoga Race Course, broke alertly in their respective turf debuts with the former marking the quarter-mile in :22.39 before the latter took over to notch the half-mile in :44.72 over the firm going.
Slipstream, who settled at the back of the eight-horse field down the backstretch, advanced along the hedge through the turn. Run Curtis Run maintained command at the stretch call but Slipstream, deftly handled by Rosario, rallied strongly up the rail to the inside of Midnight Worker and Poppy Flower before angling outside the leader late in the lane to secure the win in a final time of 1:08.36. Run Curtis Run completed the exacta by a half-length over Biz Biz Buzz.
Rosario said he had to adjust his plans after being bumped at the break by Biz Biz Buzz and Kavod.
“It just looked a little tight right away and I kind of had to take up a little bit and find a different style with how the race was playing out,” Rosario said. “The plan was to be a little closer but it all happened right away, so I had to take another way to do it.”
Slipstream, a $170,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, was turning back from a 5 1/4-length maiden score on Sept. 18 sprinting seven furlongs over firm Belmont turf.
“When they’re that good, you can do that,” Clement said. “I used to do that with [Eclipse Award winner] Gio Ponti all the time. I would run him at a mile, a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. When they’re that good, you can play around with that.”
Clement said today’s effort would set Slipstream up perfectly to stretch out in distance at the Breeders’ Cup.
“I prefer six (furlongs) going into a race that’s a mile at Del Mar on firm than a mile and a sixteenth and drop back to a mile,” Clement said. “I always like when you go to California, the idea of pushing that sprinter speed going six or seven furlongs to a mile.”
Eric Cancel, aboard the runner-up Run Curtis Run, tipped his cap to the winner.
“To be honest, I wanted to be forwardly placed for my horse and try to give him the best shot he could get,” Cancel said. “I think I did and it worked out well. It was just unfortunate that I got caught the last sixteenth, but I got beat by a much better running horse at the end so I’m really happy with my performance.”
Bred in Kentucky by Burleson Farm and McKenzie Bloodstock, Slipstream banked $82,500 in victory while improving his record to 4-2-0-1. He paid $6.60 for a $2 win wager.