Force the Pass Starts the 4th of July Off With a Bang!

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Jul 4th, 2015

by Paulick Report Staff

Richard Santulli’s Force the Pass took the lead at the top of the stretch and dominated the competition in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.

Jockey Joel Rosario kept the colt on the rail close to pace-setting Bolo, who set fractions of :24.57, :50.30, 1:15.38, and 1:39, then moved through on the inside past that rival en route to an open-lengths victory. French-bred Canndal was second; Startup Nation finished third.

“Good trip, perfect trip. He broke a little slow and then we were covered right away,” Rosario said. “It looked like we were going to be fourth going into the first turn, but we ended up being second or third. He was getting out a little bit going forward and I just tried to stay near the rail.

“As soon as I got to the three-eighths pole, I got room to go on the inside and just went forward and controlled the race from there.”

They ran a time of 2:01.16 for the mile and a quarter on turf.

Force The Pass burst onto the graded stakes scene with a late-charging victory by a head in the G3 Penn Mile May 30. Trained by Alan Goldberg, the colt has four wins in six starts.

“We were hoping [early on] for a dirt horse because he handled everything so well. Very professional,” Goldberg said. “We brought him up here three days ago – he’d never been here before – and he never turned a hair. We’ll give him the summer off and look towards the fall.”

Bred in Kentucky by Santulli’s Colts Neck Stables LLC, Force the Pass is by Speightstown out of Social Queen (Dynaformer).

Favored Bolo faded on the far turn to finish well behind the winner. The colt was vanned off, but the Daily Racing Form‘s David Grening reported on Twitter that Bolo came out of the race uninjured.

With his convincing victor in the $1.25 million Grade 1 Belmont Derby, Force the Pass became Lambholm South's latest Grade 1 winning graduate. Force the Pass was broken and trained at Lambholm South by Junior Serna, as was his sire Speightstown, and his broodmare sire Dynaformer.  Congratulations to all of the connections! 

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