ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2018)–Blinkers off, Mike Smith on and added distance resulted in an impressive 3 ¼ length win for the Pete Eurton-trained Core Beliefs, who, according to his daughter, Britney, could be headed to the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. Sent from his rail post position, the 3-year-old Quality Road colt dictated terms throughout while getting a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.40.
“I sent him a little bit away from there,” said Smith, who easily dispatched 3-2 favorite Longden inside the furlong pole. “We were running out of the one hole and I wanted to see if we could make the lead. We did, but he turns off real nice. It was a good move on Pete’s part to take the blinkers off today and we got away with a soft first quarter.”
Purchased for $350,000 a year ago at the Barretts March 2-year-old in Training Sale by owner Gary Broad, Core Beliefs came off a third place finish as the favorite going six furlongs on Feb. 3 and was off at 2-1 in a field of five sophomores and paid $6.60, $3.20 and $2.60.
When asked he might opt to skip a first condition allowance and get a little ambitious with Core Beliefs, Eurton responded, “It’s fun to get ambitious.”
At this point, Eurton’s highly acclaimed daughter, TVG mega-talent, Britney Eurton, chimed in: “Allowance, Lexington (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles on March 28 at Keeneland), then the Preakness (Grade I, 1 3/16 miles on May 19 at Pimlico).”
With one win and two thirds from thee starts, Core Beliefs, who picked up $32,400 for the victory, now has earnings of $45,360.
Trained by Bob Baffert, English-bred Longden, who had faced several Derby hopefuls in his four previous starts, sat second throughout and was no match for the winner late, finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Regulate. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Longden paid $3.00 and $2.40.
Off at 4-1, Regulate, who was a menacing third heading to the far turn, never threatened the final quarter mile and with Joe Talamo up, paid $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.94, 48.21, 1:12.25 and 1:37.73.
First post time for an eight-race card on Friday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.