Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
One of the more interesting aspect of handicapping turf stakes in the late summer and fall is the occasional presence of a shipper from overseas.
With so many of the sport’s greatest stars hailing from Europe, it’s natural to give added consideration to any invader from across the “pond.” Yet for every runner that adapts to the sod in the U.S. of A., there are two or three that run as poorly in their new land as they did back home.
So how do you decide which shipper will thrive on foreign shores?
Alterite presented an example of foreign intrigue in the Grade 1 $500,000 Garden City at Belmont Park on Sept. 14. The mile and an eighth turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies marked Alterite’s first start in the United States. In her last three races in France, she had raced in Group I stakes with mixed results. She lost by a nose in the second of those three starts, sandwiching a sixth and 10th between them.
ALTERITE IN THE GARDEN CITY
Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglinese Photos
Deciding whether Alterite would turn in a gem or a clunker was tricky, but there was something that made her stand out from the average tourist: Her connections.
She was owned by Martin S. Schwartz and trained by Chad Brown, who had enjoyed great success in the past with European runners. Zagora, last year’s winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and Stacelita, the champion female turf runner in 2011, both started their careers in Europe and found tremendous success in the U.S. for Schwartz and Brown.
Beyond that, last year’s Garden City had been won by Samitar, who was making her second U.S. start for Schwartz and Brown.
With such a proven track record on her side, Alterite was a very inviting 4-1 in the morning line.
By post time, there were even more believers in the Schwartz/Brown touch and Alterite was sent off as the 3-1 second choice. She then returned $8 to win for following the lead of her talented predecessors and registering a 1 ½-length victory on the other side of the Atlantic.
THE LESSON: Trying to decide which foreign horses to wager on can become a simpler process if you can find - and back - an owner and trainer with a history of success in bringing horses to the United States.
ALTERITE'S PAST PERFORMANCES