January 18, 2022

Domestic Spending pours it on late in Manhattan

Domestic Spending and jockey Flavien Prat win the Manhattan Stakes (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport)

Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Spending had to share the spoils with Colonel Liam in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day, but their rematch in Saturday’s $750,000 Manhattan S. (G1) on Belmont Day wasn’t close. Relishing the step up to 1 1/4 miles at Belmont Park, the 3-2 favorite produced his trademark late kick and left Colonel Liam back in a subpar eighth.

Domestic Spending was topping the Chad Brown exacta over stablemate Tribhuvan, who put up a bold show on the lead. Tribhuvan had been cross-entered to Saturday’s $156,000 Monmouth S. (G3), but Brown opted to keep him in New York. Brown won the Monmouth anyway with another French-bred, Devamani, so his deployment of forces worked out well.

Tribhuvan used the same tactics as in his conquest of the May 1 Fort Marcy S. (G2), and with similar success except for the presence of Domestic Spending. The 15.90-1 shot opened up by daylight through splits of :23.81, :46.95, and 1:11.00 on the good inner turf. Still three lengths clear passing the mile in 1:35.51, he maintained that same advantage at the eighth pole.

Domestic Spending was just revving up from well off the pace. Well handled by Flavien Prat, the British-bred gelding flew inside the final furlong to score by 2 3/4 widening lengths in 1:59.08. His performance is all the more commendable since he was carrying the joint top weight of 124 pounds, conceding six pounds to most of the field.

“He went a mile and a quarter well today,” Prat said. “He showed a good turn of foot last time and today, with the strong pace it’s hard to show the same turn of foot and he did. I think I had more in reserve. He was floating a little bit down the lane, but I felt that I had more horse.”

Gufo also closed energetically to take third, but once again dug himself too much of a hole early. Trailing the 10-horse field, he was as many as seven lengths behind Domestic Spending, and 19 1/2 lengths I arrears of the leader. Gufo erased most of that deficit, despite veering wide in the stretch, and reported home 1 1/4 lengths astern of Tribhuvan.

Masteroffoxhounds was another 2 1/2 lengths back in fourth. The stewards conducted an inquiry into the stretch run to determine if Domestic Spending interfered with him amid the winning move, but wisely let the result stand.

Brown’s other runners, Rockemperor and Master Piece, finished fifth and sixth. Rockemperor, who was adding blinkers, was unable to duplicate his near-miss from last year’s Manhattan.

Those near Tribhuvan early – Channel Cat, Colonel Liam, City Man, and Bye Bye Melvin – were the last across the wire.

Domestic Spending’s fourth stakes victory landed him on millionaires’ row with $1,314,500 in the bank. After suffering his only loss in last summer’s National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2), as a belated third in his stakes debut, he has won four straight. The son of Kingman captured the Saratoga Derby Invitational, Hollywood Derby (G1), the aforementioned Turf Classic in a dead-heat, and now the Manhattan to extend his career record to 7-6-0-1.

Bred by Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd. and purchased for 300,000 guineas as a Tattersalls October yearling, Domestic Spending is out of stakes victress Urban Castle by Street Cry. This is the family of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Queen’s Trust as well as Friday’s New York S. (G2) near-misser Thundering Nights.

Brown, who was winning his sixth Manhattan in the past eight runnings, commented on the concerted team effort behind Domestic Spending.

“This horse has been a particular challenge,” the trainer said. “We had to geld him after his two-year-old year, even with that breeding, because he wouldn’t train.

“We had several different people on our team working with this horse, down at Stonestreet (in Kentucky) and down in Ocala. So many people have touched this horse and really worked with and got his natural ability out of him.

“The latest is Flavien, who is now getting along just terrific with this horse. It’s really my team. They’ve done an outstanding job developing this horse. There was a point in time when he was a baby that I didn’t think we’d ever get him to the races.”