10/28/2017 5:54PM

Therapist stays undefeated with Awad Stakes win

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Irad Ortiz Jr. guided Therapist up the rail and on to a one-length score in Saturday's Awad Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Therapist successfully stretched out in distance from six furlongs to a mile and improved his record to a perfect 3 for 3 in the $100,000 Awad Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Therapist, a New York-bred son of Freud trained by Christophe Clement defeated nine other 2-year-olds in the Awad. He paid $10 and was timed in 1:35.41 over the Widener turf course.

After breaking alertly, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. relaxed Therapist off the pace while saving ground, he went inside front-running Looking Ready in the stretch and scored by a length.

"I wish I could have worked a way to the outside, but the rail opened up and I got through," Ortiz said.

V.I.P. Code rallied from eighth to nail Looking Ready for second by a nose. It was a neck back from Looking Ready to Way Early in fourth.

Clement was undecided after the race whether Therapist would race again this year or be given a rest.

"It was a great race to stretch him out because it's a one-turn mile," Clement said. "He's a nice horse, a New York-bred, but he can obviously compete in open company."

Therapist rallied from far back to win his first two starts at six furlongs on turf, a statebred maiden race at Belmont in July and the $100,000 Laurel Futurity in September.

War Chest the 2-1 favorite lacked a closing response when asked and finished seventh, beaten 2 3/4 lengths.