Alterite streaks clear of the competition to win the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes on Saturday at belmomnt Park. (Photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Owner Marty Schwartz has enjoyed tremendous success when bringing European fillies over to the U.S. to compete in top stakes races, and he struck again with Alterite on Saturday in the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park.
Alterite made her North American debut for Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown in the $500,000 race for 3-year-old fillies. The Literato filly surged past Grade 1-winning pacesetter Discreet Marq to prevail by 1 ½ lengths under jockey John Velazquez.
“I think she ran terrific,” Brown said. “She came over to me in real good shape from her previous trainer, and she just settled in beautifully. Each week she's been here, she's adapted more. She's a high-strung horse, and I thought she handled herself in the race very well. She should improve from here.”
Last year, Schwartz won the Garden City with Irish classic winner Samitar in her second race in the U.S.
Schwartz and bloodstock advisor Michel Zerolo have had plenty of luck targeting European fillies and then bringing them stateside. Count 2012 champion turf female Zagora and 2011 champion turf female Stacelita among their recent home runs.
Schwartz also brought European group stakes winners Gorella, Asi Siempre and Angara over to the U.S., where they all became Grade 1 winners.
Zagora won the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf to cement championship honors.
With Alterite’s visually impressive win in her U.S. debut, Schwartz’s newest Grade 1 winner certainly looks like a potential star.
“We bought her after … the Breeders' Cup, where we won with Zagora, so it was after our cup was full,” Schwartz said. “We'll talk to Chad as to what might be next. I'd like to go to California again, but she likes a little cut in the ground. … She'll stay a mile and a quarter as she did in France. The sky's the limit, as they say."
Alterite completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.55 on firm turf for her fourth win in ten career starts. A multiple stakes winner in France, Alterite finished second in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary in May at Longchamp.
“I’m very happy. She got beat three inches in the Saint Alary and was the only horse to run in all three legs of the French Triple Crown for fillies,” Schwartz said. “[Chad] Brown has quite a way with the European horses.”
Discreet Marq held on gamely for second in a blanket finish behind the winner. She won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in her previous race.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
ALTERITE WINNING THE GARDEN CITY STAKES
Photo by Adam Coglianese/NYRA