Wes Welker's Undrafted unleashed a furious rally in the stretch to nab late leader Marchman and win the $300,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes June 7 at Belmont Park. With John Velazquez up, the 4-year-old Purim gelding covered the six furlongs in 1:07.24, a time just .37 of a second off the course record.
Undrafted, trained by Wesley Ward, finished 1½ lengths ahead of Marchman. It was a length back to 60-1 long shot Global Power in third. He finished a neck ahead of Ben's Cat, the 2-1 favorite in the race of nine older runners.
Spring to the Sky broke first, but it was Global Power who took the early advantage and the son of Pulpit carved out an opening quarter-mile of :21.84 seconds over the firm course. Spring to the Sky was second with Marchman and Ben's Cat giving chase.
The opening half went in :44.47 seconds as Global Power led the way as Marchman, Spring to the Sky, and Salto got into the mix. Turning for home Global Power was poised to pull off a big upset, but was collared by Marchman with Undrafted flying on the outside. His deadly late run got him past the leaders to open daylight in the final strides. With five furlongs run in :55.79 seconds, the final panel went in :11.45 seconds.
"He ran fantastic; he ran beautiful," said Ward. "I was really happy. We're headed to the July Cup at Newmarket."
The winner paid $11.60, $5 and $4.10. Marchman paid $4.20 and $3.40. Global Power returned $17.20 to show.
"I had a perfect trip," said Velazquez. "We broke in decent position. We wanted to be in the middle of the pack somewhere where he was comfortable. I got him out at the quarter pole and he came running. Once he got clear in the stretch he had a nice pick up. It was awesome."
Undrafted, out of the French Deputy mare French Jeannette, was bred in Kentucky by Catesby Clay Investment. Consigned by Clay's Runnymede Farm, agent, to the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, he was nabbed by Hat Creek Racing Co. for $50,000. Welker has been a partner in Hat Creek Racing that is headed by Gatewood Bell.
A six-time winner and earner of $137,262, French Jeannette died in 2013 after delivering a colt by Big Brown. Native Fancy, the third dam of the Jaipur winner, won the 1980 Hollywood Lassie Stakes and 1981 California Oaks. Native Fancy is also the dam of grade II winner Blushing Heiress and Grade 3 winner Really Fancy. Family members include Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Reynaldothewizard and dual Grade 1 winner Seventh Street.
Undrafted earned his first win in four starts this year in the Jaipur. He came to New York off a fifth-place finish in the Commonwealth Stakes on the Keeneland Polytrack and was a closing second to Marchman on turf at Churchill Downs May 2 in the Turf Sprint. In 14 starts, Undrafted has a 4-1-5 slate and has earned $377,040.
Upgrade finished fourth and was followed by Anyriderill Do, Salto, Positive Side, and Spring to the Sky. Marriedtothemusic (ran in the June 6 True North Stakes) and Non Stop were scratched.