March 4, 2024

Disco Partner romps in Forbidden Apple

Disco Partner wins the Forbidden Apple Stakes under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. at Belmont Park on Saturday, July 15, 2017 (c) NYRA/Robert Mauhar/Adam Coglianese Photography

Trainer Christophe Clement is eyeing a multitude of races for world record-setter Disco Partner after the five-year-old easily scored a 3 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park.

It was the first time Disco Partner had gone beyond seven furlongs since finishing second in an allowance/optional claimer at Aqueduct in November 2015. The gray son of Disco Rico has spent his time sprinting since then, most recently setting a new course record at Belmont Park when taking the six-furlong Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G3) in 1:05.67 on June 10.

Disco Partner continued his winning ways in the one-mile Forbidden Apple under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., tracking the pace on the inside before angling out three wide in upper stretch. The gray New York-bred grabbed control of the race and pulled off to finish eight furlongs in 1:33.49 on Belmont’s firm Widener turf.

Disco Partner was sent off the 7-5 favorite and returned $4.80 for the win, his third from as many starts this year. Get Jets had a neck to spare on Bondurant, who in turn was a head better than fourth-placer King Kreesa. Offering Plan, the 3-1 second choice followed in fifth, while rounding out the order under the wire were Cerise’s Prince and Grand Arch.

Disco Partner is now 18-8-4-2 in his career with $708,810 in lifetime earnings. In addition to this one and the Jaipur, the Patricia Generazio colorbearer also captured this season’s Elusive Quality Stakes as well as last year’s Troy Stakes.


Christophe Clement, trainer Disco Partner, winner

“I think he’s a very nice horse. He trained great; he gets on very well with (jockey) Irad (Ortiz Jr.) and I just think six (furlongs), seven-eighths to a mile, he can do whatever he wants. He ran well.

“We’ll have to think about putting together a nice summer campaign. I think he’s top class. He’s not Breeders’ Cup eligible, so I’ll have to speak with (owners) Mr. and Mrs. Generazio and we’ll try to map out the next two to three starts for him between now and the end of the year and try to do the best we can.

“The choices are: do we run him right back in the Troy (Handicap on August 6 at Saratoga), do we go for the ($500,000) Fourstardave (Handicap [G1] on August, 12 at Saratoga)? Do we keep him at a one turn mile at ($800,000) Woodbine Mile ([Can-G1] on September 16 at Woodbine)? I’m not sure. I’ll just have to think about it.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Disco Partner, winner

“He’s a nice horse and he has a good mind. He broke good and he’s there when you ask him. He waits until you need him at the end, that’s his style. He can do anything; he can go a mile, he can sprint. I’m happy with him.”

What a Catch remains perfect from two starts with easy victory in Rockville Centre Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, July 15, 2017 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/ Adam Coglianese Photography

Earlier on the card, Gary Barber’s What a Catch wired the $98,000 Rockville Centre Stakes to move his record to a perfect two-for-two.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez in the six-furlong, main-track contest, What a Catch was a length in front of even-money favorite Morning Breeze on the wire. He stopped the clock in 1:11.21 over the fast dirt.

What a Catch also broke his maiden on Belmont’s main track under Velazquez, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths on June 2. The juvenile chestnut son of Justin Phillip boasts $97,200 in lifetime earnings.

Bred in New York by Castleton Lyons and Killboy Estate, What a Catch is out of the multiple stakes-winning Yes It’s True mare Catch My Fancy, making him a half-brother to the dam of this year’s Louisiana Derby (G2) victor, Girvin. His female family includes the likes of Grade 1 hero Silver Max and Canadian champion Kiss a Native.


John Velazquez, jockey What a Catch, winner

“We came out running. I thought the horse to the outside of me might make the lead, so I came out running to see what he is going to do. And then he sat off of me and that was perfect and I stayed in front of him. My horse seemed a little bit green, so it kind of helped him to have company. After that, I tried to get away from the horse at the quarter-pole, tried to discourage the horse a little bit and I think it worked out.”

Byron Hughes, assistant trainer What a Catch, winner

“I thought he was very professional. He acted good in the paddock and post parade, broke sharp and fought off the second-place horse. He’s always been pretty classy; a bit precocious two-year-old. He’s been benefitting from that and stepping up every time we’ve asked him.”