Castellano, Brown team to win Belmont feature
NEW YORK (AP) Jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Chad Brown capped a big afternoon at Belmont Park with Hope Cross’s victory in the $85,000 allowance feature Thursday.
It was the second straight victory on the card for the duo of Brown, the meet’s leading trainer, and Castellano, who rode four of the nine winners on the program. They also combined to take the seventh race with Mohican Chief.
Hope Cross beat Striking Style by neck in a game effort. The Irish bred 4-year-old filly stumbled at the start, getting away seventh in the nine-horse field.
She steadily advanced up the rail, only to hit a traffic jam in the stretch while trying to angle into contention.
Hope Cross shook loose in the nick of time for her third win in 10 starts, paying $8.60, $4.30 and $3 as the 3-1 second choice.
Striking Style returned $6.80 and $4.90, and Sparkle Factor paid $4.70 to show.
Love and Marriage, the other Brown runner in the race, finished fifth as the 5/2 favorite.
The time was 1:41.55 for 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf course.