News and STORIES

Decorated Invader Takes Summer Stakes

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Monday September 16, 2019
West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman and William Sandbrook's Decorated Invader took the Grade 1 Summer Stakes on Saturday. He was the 2-1 favorite coming into the race. 

Decorated Invader had a slow start, but he was able to pull ahead in the stretch and win the race by two lengths. He covered a mile over Woodbine's yielding turf course in 1:36.34. By winning the Summer Stakes, Decorated Invader received an all-expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf this fall at Santa Anita Park. 

Decorated Invader is the 2-year-old son of Declaration of War. His trainer is Chrisophe Clement, and Irad Ortiz was onboard as the jockey for the race. 

"We were just looking for him to relax in the first part of the race and then let him run in the end," said Ortiz. "We know he can run, so we just want to relax him and teach him the first part."

The Running 

Decorated Invader and Vitalogy broke from the innermost two spots out of the gate. They both started out the race slow, and they fell back far behind the leaders in the backstretch. Keep on Truckin was pushing ahead early, but he was passed up by the longshot Cadet Connelly, who took the lead through fractions of :24.26 and :48.43. 

As the field went around the far turn, Cadet Connelly was in front with a 1 1/2-length lead. Pleasecallmeback and Mystic Lancelot were following behind, and Decorated Invader started to push forward and cover ground on the outside. 

Going through the home straight, Decorated Invader pulled away from the rest of the field to move ahead. He got far enough ahead to win by two lengths at the wire. 

Cadet Connelly was able to hold on to second as he was being pressured by Vitalogy in third. Vitalogy fell back after facing problems with traffic in the stretch. In fourth place was Proven Strategies. 

Assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul spoke about Decorated Invader's performance after the race. 

"I know he broke a touch poorly, but with the rain we had and everything, I was pretty comfortable he was moving well and was happy where he was," Lorieul said. "We were just very confident with our ride. He was just biding his time, and he showed up today."

Decorated Invader was bred in Kentucky by Redmon Farm. He is out of the winning Arch mare Gamely Girl and purchased for $200,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale. 

He finished second in his debut at Saratoga on July 13, a 1 1/16-mile run on the grass. He followed up by breaking his maiden a month later with a 3 1/4-length victory at the same 1 1/16-mile grass track at Saratoga. 

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile

The next race for Decorated Invader is looking to be the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Lorieul spoke about the possibility. 

"We talked about it beforehand," said Lorieul. "It would be the obvious next target for him. Today was the big test, and he completed it, so we're very happy for the partnership of West Point."

He has won two of three career starts, and his earnings are now at over $210,000.

"He's only had three races, so I think he's getting better and better," offered Ortiz. "Today, I really liked the way he did it. He was floating in a little bit in the stretch, he always does, but hopefully he learns and if he just keeps a little more straight in the stretch that would be great. He keeps learning."