News and STORIES

Moretti Beats Sir Winston in Flat Out Stakes

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Friday June 12, 2020
Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Moretti moved ahead of the field early and scored Thursday's $80,000 Flat Out Stakes. He was able to beat Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Sir Winston in the 1 3/8-mile event. 

In his only other stakes effort, which came in the 2019 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, the 4-year-old Medgalia d'Oro colt finished sixth.

Coming off a May 2 allowance victory at Oaklawn Park, which was his third start of 2020, Moretti landed at the dirt marathon. 

The Running 

Joined by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, he ran out of the gate to take the lead among the field of nine through the first turn. He was trailed closely by Expert, Blugrasscat's Smile, and You're to Blame through an opening quarter in :24.79 over a muddy and sealed main track. 

As the field went into the half-mile marker, Moretti extended his lead to 2 1/2 lengths as he recorded the split in :48.97.

Sir Winston tried to pick up ground as they went around the far turn, and he made it up to Moretti at the mile-marker. He was not able to pull ahead of the leader, and Moretti broke away at the top of the stretch and galloped home. 

Moretti crossed the wire 5 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 2:16.31. Sir Winston beat Expert by a head for second. The order was completed by Rocketry, You're to Blame, Adventist, Prompt Legit, and Blugrasscat's Smile.

Sir Winston is a Kentucky homebred out of the Afleet Alex mare La Gran Balladora, three-times stakes winner with victories in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) at Turfway Park. 

Confidence Going Into the Race

Castellano was also aboard Moretti in his last out allowance victory. He had confidence going into the race about getting into the lead, with a field that had no real standout pace. 

With the victory, it was trainer Todd Pletcher's third straight edition of the Flat Out. 

"When Javier and I spoke in the paddock, we talked about how he might be the speed of the race," Pletcher said. "I said just let him run into the first turn, and if he found himself comfortably on the lead, that's great, and if someone else is ambitious, not to get into a pace duel. When he got into that rhythm, it looked like he was traveling really well."

Pletcher expected Moretti to improve as he got older, and that is what happened. 

"He's always been a steady galloper, and he seems like he's come around in his last couple of starts," Pletcher said. "He's really found himself and seems like he's improving, which is really what we expected all along. The older he got, the better he would get."

There is already talk about what is next for the colt. According to Pletcher, the July 4 Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont is a possibility for the new stakes winner Moretti. 

Moretti returned $10.40 for a $2 win bet. The Flat Out Stakes was his third victory in nine career starts, and his earnings are now at $161,150. His victory in the stakes race brought in $44,000. 

The colt was bred in Kentucky by Thoro-Bred Stables and is out of the grade 1-winning Concerto broodmare Rigoletta, who also produced grade 1-winning millionaire Battle of Midway. He was purchased for $900,000 from the 2017 edition of The Saratoga Sale, Fasig-Tipton's select yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he was consigned by Gainesway.