08/27/2016 5:51PM

Flintshire rides the rail to Sword Dancer repeat victory

Michael Amoruso
Flintshire, with Javier Castellano aboard, wins the Sword Dancer Invitational by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Flintshire combined his own brilliance and an assist from a stablemate to record his second straight victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga.

As far as 13 1/2 lengths back at one stage, Flintshire rode the rail to victory, exploding through the final three-sixteenths of a mile. He got a big assist from Aaron Gryder on the pacemaker Inordinate, who moved off the inside, creating room for Flintshire to explode through in the final quarter of a mile.

Flintshire beat another stablemate, Money Multiplier, by 1 3/4 lengths. It was 2 3/4 lengths farther back to Twilight Eclipse, who finished third in this race for the third consecutive year.

Flintshire, a 6-year-old son of Dansili owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms, improved his record to 8 for 22 and increased his earnings to $8,809,910. Flintshire became the sixth horse to score repeat victories in the Sword Dancer, joining Majesty’s Prince (1983-84), El Senor (1989-90), With Anticipation (2001-02), Grand Couturier (2007-8), and Telling (2009-10).

By virtue of his victory in the Sword Dancer, Flintshire earned a fees-paid berth to the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

 “He’s an exceptional racehorse. He’s all class. We’re just lucky to have him,” said winning trainer Chad Brown, who also trains Money Multiplier. “Best turn of foot I’ve ever seen.”

After having to overcome a pedestrian pace to win the Grade 2 Bowling Green, Brown and Juddmonte decided to enter Inordinate as a pacemaker, or “rabbit,” in the race. Inordinate, also owned by Juddmonte, was allowed to run as a separate betting interest despite his sole purpose of being a rabbit for Flintshire.

Inordinate broke last, but Gryder pumped hard on him to get in front of Roman Approval through fractions of 23.18 seconds for the quarter, 46.16 for the half-mile, 1:11.04 for six furlongs, and 1:36.11 for a mile.

Jockey Javier Castellano kept Flintshire in the back, inside of Twilight Eclipse, early. Castellano advanced Flintshire along the inside entering and around the far turn.

It was clear that Castellano had plenty of horse, but he needed room. At the quarter pole, Gryder looked to his inside and saw Flintshire coming. He guided Inordinate off the rail, forcing Roman Approval to check, and Flintshire zipped on through the opening. He ran his last quarter in just over 22 seconds to get the win.

“I think I give a little bit of credit to the pacemaker. He helped the pace to go a little faster; very lucky to cut through the rail and accelerate,” Castellano said. “I’ve never seen any horses like this on the grass that have great acceleration. I’m very fortunate to ride those kinds of horses.”

Flintshire covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.45 and returned $2.40 to win. The course and stakes record for 1 1/2 miles is 2:23.20, set by Awad in 1997.

Mike Maker, the trainer of Roman Approval, who finished sixth, lodged an objection against Inordinate, who finished a half-length in front of him, for interference at the top of the stretch. The stewards disallowed the claim.

John More than 1 year ago
Sounds like alot of us saw the same misdeed !
Lets start a boycott, of ALL RACES WITH UNCOUPLED ENTRYS . Maybe if the racetracks see the betting public is getting fed up with this , they might begin to listen !
Hell, on the West coast, everyone knows to bet the uncoupled Baffert , still, its a guessing game !
John More than 1 year ago
This is a prime example of why horse's have to be coupled ! 
It wasnt coincidence that Flintshires barn mate set a blazing pace, thats racing, but Gryder took out 3 or 4 horses when he opened the rail for Flintshire . Of course Flintshire was tons best, but this didnt look good for racing , From now on we have to couple trainer entrys !
Kevin Davidson More than 1 year ago
Inordinate runs off the pace just like Flintshire. Is Inordinate as good as Flintshire NO. But this race was decided well beforehand and the fix was on. What Chad Brown demanded Gryder to do with Inordinate was disgraceful and he absolutely exhausted a closer making him be the rabbit. Inordinate was abused and furthermore it constituted a fix which is literally criminal.  Swinging the exhausted Inordinate off the rail to clear the way for Flintshire to save all the ground is a FIX. Shame on Juddmonte Farms, Chad Brown, Aaron Gryder for blatantly executing the fix and Saratoga and the NYRC for your complicity by turning a blind eye to CHEATING! I love Saratoga Race Course but I am appalled that a track of this caliber with a historical pristine reputation condoned this! If you can't trust Saratoga Race Track than what track can you trust?  
Jordan Lay More than 1 year ago
Javier has nerve saying he was lucky the rail opened up. Luck had nothing to do with it. Ortiz angles inside down the backstretch then checks out of the pocket over heels mid-turn to give Flintshire the rail for the lane.  Ortiz is too smart a rider to make this decision at this point in the race. Inordinate was not backing up to force the change to the outside at this point.on the turn. Gryder blew the break, rushed up and secured the rail, I can accept that as legitimate strategy. I object to Gryder's clumsy eagerness to open the rail in the homestretch. His look back for the pink cap followed by the tug on the right rein was artless and blatant. Shame on Aaron Gryder, Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz and because the instructions came from somewhere, Chad Brown and Juddmonte.  You really got away with one, in a Grade 1 race for a million dollar purse on one of racing's biggest days, you got away with one. Sleep well. 
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
Watched it again... if the #2 takes the rail (if the #5 gave it up to him as easy as to the #6), then the #2 could have easily won the race... or; it would have been much closer. 
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
I also agree with the fact that the #5 set the pace (plus, he got off the rail when Flintshire arrived, AND; the #2 made a similar "Juddmonte gesture" to let Flintshire unleash his "turn of foot."
Mary Friend Eissler More than 1 year ago
If a horse is entered as a rabbit the two should be coupled. The real question is why wasn't Gryder's hose taken down? It was clear that he moved off of the rail and made a horse check. I also thought the two horse [Money Multiplier] did a strange move on the turn to open up the rail. The sad part is that Flintshire was clearly the best horse but won with the above issues.
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago

This is how racing is conducted these days... especially when "Track Records" are becoming the object or goal of the race. 

I do not blame Brown for having 3 horses in the race.  If you look at his last race, it was one "blind-switch" after another... trying to "out jockey" Flintshire at 1-5.

Jason Perlmutter More than 1 year ago
Agree with the below comments.  That was total BS, should never be allowed to happen.  Both Gryder and Brown should be suspended and fined.  And just to be clear I singled Flintshire like 90% of other multi race players so this is not sour grapes.  Boooooooooooo!
Robert Walton More than 1 year ago
Like any other business, racing will not care util it hurts them financially. More and more of these uncoupled shenanigans are becoming commonplace. On Thursday uncoupled jump favorite gets hurt at 3/5 and other half wins at 20 to 1. While this was an injury it still is hard for players to swallow.Last but not least is the winning by longer price horses of the same trainers in claiming and maiden races.Until we stop wagering on events with uncoupled entires nothing will happen and perhaps not even then.
John More than 1 year ago
This was a black eye for racing....I was there....it was bad