NEW YORK (AP) Suffused finally found a distance to her liking in the $200,000 Belmont Coronation Invitational.
The Coronation Invitational for fillies and mares on the turf was one of three stakes on the Thursday card, the start of the three-day Belmont Racing Festival that culminates with the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
The Coronation Invitational was run at the unusual distance of 1 15/16 miles on the turf.
It was longer than Suffused had ever gone, and she responded with a 4 3/4-length victory over Achnaha.
''You wonder when you get going for that last half mile how durable you are,'' winning trainer Bill Mott said. ''It's just something you never know.''
It was the first win in three U.S. starts for the 4-year-old who started racing in her native England. She is 4 for 11 overall following her first stakes victory.
Jose Ortiz was aboard as Suffused was clocked in 3:23.26 .She was credited with a course record, as it is believed to be the first time a grass race was run at that distance at Belmont.
Suffused paid $11.60, $5.80 and $3.40.
Achnaha returned $3.90 and $2.90. Generosidade paid $2.30 to show as the 2-1 favorite.
In the other stakes:
- Bode's Dream improved to 2 for 2 with a front-running victory in the $200,000 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies.
The 2-1 favorite finished 2 3/4 lengths better than China Grove.
She paid $6.30 to win after running the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.66 with John Velazquez in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher.
- Zindaya decisively defended her title in the $150,000 Intercontinental for filly and mare turf sprinters.
The even-money favorite drew off to a 3 1/2-length triumph over Rumble Doll, Javier Castellano rode for trainer Chad Brown as the 5-year-old rang up her fifth win in 12 starts.
Zindaya paid $4.10 to win. The time was 1:22.44 for the seven furlongs.