05/07/2017 3:54PM

Tu Brutus cruises to easy win in Flat Out

Email
Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Tu Brutus rolls to an 11-length win under Irad Ortiz Jr. in the 1 3/8-mile Flat Out.

Coming off a 118 Beyer Speed Figure in his North American debut April 8, Tu Brutus took four overmatched rivals for a stroll in the park on Sunday at Belmont, winning the Flat Out, a 1 3/8-mile main-track marathon, by 11 lengths.

With Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, Tu Brutus took the lead on the clubhouse turn of the $100,000 Flat Out and after a too-fast 23.27-second first quarter-mile settled into a nice rhythm. With his ears pricked, Tu Brutus coasted through splits of 47.80, 1:12.43, and 1:37.22 while being track by Doyouknowsomething and 5-2 second choice Scuba.

Tu Brutus steadily pulled away from his competition in the final three furlongs, with Ortiz hitting him right-handed six times in the stretch before taking him in hand late. Tu Brutus, owned by the Winning Move Stable and partners, paid $3.60 and completed the course in 2:14.87. He covered his final furlong in 12.86 seconds.

Doyouknowsomething finished second, a length before third-place Royal Posse. Scuba was fourth, another length farther back.

In his first American start, Tu Brutus was run down late by Send It In and beaten three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/4-mile Excelsior at Aqueduct.

"This first time I rode him, I wasn't really used to him and I think we moved a little too early to the rail and he ended up getting caught late," Ortiz said. "This time, going in with that experience, I knew I could be a little more patient."

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

The 118 Beyer that Tu Brutus was given for the Excelsior is the third-highest in North America this year, trailing only the 119's earned by Send It In in the same race and Arrogate's figure from the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Gary Contessa, Tu Brutus was imported from his native Chile in January.

“This is a horse that has no bottom, he just keeps getting deeper and deeper," Contessa said. "He takes a deep breath and starts all over again."

Contessa said late last week he was hoping for an easy race in the Flat Out and that he planned to point Tu Brutus to the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational, a 1 1/2-mile race on the June 10 Belmont Stakes undercard. Contessa certainly got his wish Sunday.