ELMONT, N.Y. - One jump out of the gate, everything changed in the Grade 3, $200,000 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park.
Formidable, the 11-10 favorite, took a bad stumble and dumped Jose Lezcano onto the firm turf course.
The mishap by Formidable threw the Jaipur up for grabs, and Stradivinsky took full advantage.
Charging right to the front, Stradivinsky went all the way to extend his winning streak to four. A 7-year-old gelding, Stradivinsky paid an instant dividend for new owners Michael Dubb, Jack Mandato, and Bethlehem Stables, LLC as trainer Rick Dutrow claimed him for $50,000 last time out at Churchill Downs.
Dutrow now has his sights set even higher, with the Breeders' Cup returning to Churchill this fall.
"This horse runs well with spacing, and he likes Churchill Downs, so we'll run him one more time and then point to the Breeders' Cup," Dutrow said.
Stradivinsky was helped and hurt by the riderless horse. Formidable ranged up inside Stradivinsky, providing a pace prompter that jockey Chuckie Lopez didn't need.
Formidable turned into an ally in the lane when he started to drift out into the path of potential closers.
"I didn't realize that there was a loose horse until I saw him inside of me going to the half-mile pole," Lopez said. "I said to myself 'Well, I can't let him get in front of me because I don't know where he's going to go after he gets in front of me.'
"So, I pinched him a little bit to get him out of there and from there my horse ran his eyeballs out, he really did."
The stewards reviewed the start and found no reason for a disqualification. Lezcano was apparently uninjured.
Stradivinsky ($6.90), up by 6 at the top of the lane, held off Yield Bogey by 1 1/4 lengths with Dubai Rainbow third.The time was 1:07.74 for the six furlongs.The Jaipur was the final stakes of the meet that concludes Sunday.