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102 Firenze Fire
Belmont Park (May 8): Runhappy Stakes G3 $150,000, 6f, dirt, 4yo+
Trainer: Kelly Breen
Jockey: Irad Ortiz
Owner: Mr Amore Stable
Pedigree: 6 bh Poseidon’s Warrior – My Every Wish (Langfuhr)
Hard-knocking sprinter Firenze Fire kicked off his six-year-old campaign with a straightforward victory as he recorded the eighth graded-stakes win of a long career that has seen four Breeders’ Cups and a Kentucky Derby.
After breaking sharply, 9-10 favourite Firenze Fire tracked habitual front-runner Chateau through splits of 22.59s and 45.51s before taking command at the eighth pole and drawing away for a comfortable 3¼-length victory (geared down) in a final time of 1m09.76s for a BSF of 102.
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint, in which he was third in 2020, is the main target this season for a horse who would be making his fifth appearance at the end-of-season championships (seventh in Juvenile in 2017, fourth in Dirt Mile in 2018 and fifth in Sprint in 2019).
Firenze Fire’s career record now stands at 13 wins from 32 starts, among them a G1 success in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont as a two-year-old. He won three graded events in 2020, a pair of G2s (True North and Vosburgh, both at Belmont, where he is six-for-nine) and the G3 General George at Laurel.
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