The 2016 Sword Dancer always felt like a formality, and that’s exactly how it panned out. Flintshire went off as the heavy 1/5 favorite and didn’t miss a beat as he continued to stay undefeated this season since making the United States his competitive arena of choice. The Bristish-born and Chad Brown trained turf runner continued to show why he’s at the top of his own class over the weekend.
Inordinate hit the half-mile mark as the leader, but the pace was a snail’s crawl at :46.16 and that set up Flinsthire perfectly. A small field at the Sword Dancer, along with a slow pace makes for a dangerous mix when involving this menace. It’s like the favorite sat in last place knowing that he had all sorts of time to catch the rest.
And then, for no reason, the field opened the rail for Flinshire who cruised along the inside to an easy victory. It was a run-of-the-mill race for jockey Javier Castellano who got a bit lucky. Money Multiplier came in second with a $2.90 payout, while show bets were turned off for the 2016 Sword Dancer due to the presence of a monster favorite. Twilight Eclipse was the show horse.
“I am very lucky and fortunate,” Castellano reflected. “The way I rode this horse [was] to save some ground. Everyone ended up in the same position and I had to make my own decision and use my best judgment and it worked out. I was very lucky to go and cut through on the rail and accelerate. He is a phenomenal horse. I’ve never seen any horse with that much acceleration on the grass.”
Flintshire is a simply astounding talent who is 8-10-1 in 22 starts with over $8.8 million in career earnings. This win marks his second victory at the Sword Dancer Invitational, and paints Saratoga as one of his favorite American tracks. The six-year old is undefeated in three runs at the New York based course.
The 2016 Sword Dancer grants entry to the Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf for the winner. It’s a race that Flintshire placed as the runner-up in during the 2014 campaign, and it’s obvious that his connections are eager to get another shot at that same title. So far, so good.