06/11/2016 11:32AM

Economic Model breaks through with Easy Goer Stakes win

Barbara D. Livingston
Economic Model and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. win the Easy Goer Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Economic Model validated trainer Chad Brown’s belief that he could become a major player in the 3-year-old division this year by registering a 1 1/2-length victory over Race Me Home in Saturday’s $144,000 Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park.

Economic Model had made only four starts prior to the Easy Goer, winning twice and finishing second behind the odds-on Awesome Banner in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes. His only poor outing came in the Tampa Bay Derby, where the son of Flatter finished a distant ninth behind Destin.

With Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Saturday, Economic Model rated off the early leaders, was briefly shuffled to last while awaiting clearance turning into the stretch, then split rivals and took command with a rush inside the eighth pole. He then maintained a safe advantage over Race Me Home despite drifting slightly near the end.

Race Me Home swung wide with his bid into the stretch, loomed boldly approaching the furlong grounds, but proved no match for the winner. Rally Cry stalked the early leaders while well placed into the stretch but came up empty when roused, finishing three parts of a length farther back in third. 

Cupid, the 4-5 favorite making his first start since undergoing throat surgery after the Arkansas Derby, broke last, raced rankly down the backstretch while prompting the pace, but had little left after six furlongs and finished last in the five-horse field.

Economic Model, owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, completed 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:40.18 and paid $10.

“This is a nice horse. We’ve always liked this horse a lot,” said Brown. “His race at Tampa was just so disappointing, but it’s becoming clear it was just the track over there. I never lost confidence in this horse stretching out as well. He always looked like a horse who wanted to run further, and we’ll stretch him out from here.

“He’s a fresh horse, he’s still learning. He made the lead there, and near the wire he was shying from the whip, Irad just told me. He’s got a few things to figure out, but I couldn’t be more pleased about his performance today.”

Brown said the Jim Dandy Stakes or Haskell Invitational are the most likely options for Economic Model’s next start.