08/20/2016 4:19PM

Disco Partner takes neck victory in Troy Stakes

Ronnie Betor
The Troy Stakes was won by Disco Partner in a near course-record time.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. _ It took a course record to beat Disco Partner two starts back in the Grade 3 Jaipur at Belmont Park. It would have taken a near course record to beat him in Saturday’s $100,000 Troy Stakes at Saratoga.

Moving a bit earlier than jockey Jose Ortiz wanted, Disco Partner stormed down the center of Saratoga’s inner turf course and won a four-way photo by a neck over Green Mask, who nosed out Rainbow Heir for second. It was another nose back to Long On Value in fourth.

It was the first stakes win in his sixth try for Disco Partner, a New York-bred son of Disco Rico owned and bred by Patricia and Frank Generazio and trained by Jim Ryerson. It was Pure Sensation, also owned and bred by the Generazios but trained by Christophe Clement, who beat Disco Partner by a neck in the Jaipur.

“In the Jaipur I think he showed his improvement,” Ryerson said of Disco Partner. “He’s just gotten stronger, he was a little frail kind of horse, he’s thickened up, he’s gotten a little stronger, his punch has gotten a little better and now he’s just a little better horse.”

Disco Partner, bumped at the break by Rainbow Heir, broke last of seven but quickly moved into fifth down the backside while Spring to the Sky set fractions of 21.79 seconds for the quarter and 43.91 for the half stalked by Rainbow Heir with Green Mask sitting in third under John Velazquez.

Around the far turn, Ortiz asked his horse to run and Disco Partner came a little wide in the stretch. But Ortiz straightened him out and Disco Partner outfinished Green Mask as both overtook Rainbow Heir late.

“I moved a little earlier than I wanted because I saw Johnny was waiting for somebody,” Ortiz said. “Maybe I moved too soon, that’s why I blew the turn a little bit. But he’s a good horse, he overcame that.”

Disco Partner covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:00.93, just 0.47 off the course record set by Lady Shipman last year. He returned $10.40 as the 4-1 third choice.

Velazquez said he wanted to wait as long as he could to ask Green Mask to run per trainer Brad Cox’s instructions.

“He told me to watch him because he’s a horse that doesn’t want to win so I wanted to wait until the last minute,” Velazquez said. “On the other hand, he told me he’s better outside of horses so now [Disco Partner] is on the outside of me and I had to make a move. Sure enough he pulled up on me.”

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