Neat Continues Ascent in 3YO Ranks With G3 Manila S. Victory

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Neat delivered a blistering turn of foot at the top of the lane en route to a comfortable score in the June 29 $242,500 Manila Stakes (G3T) at the Belmont at the Big A meet.

Trained by Rob Atras for Randy Gullatt’s Red White and Blue Racing partnership, Neat returned to the winner’s circle for the third time this season after bagging victories in Keeneland’s Transylvania Stakes (G3) and the Texas Turf Mile Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. The talented chestnut has now won five of seven career starts on the turf and banked $490,630.

A 3-year-old son of Constitution, Neat was bred by Hidden Brook Farm and Spruce Lane Farm. After being foaled and raised on the Hidden Brook’s bucolic farm in Paris, Kentucky he was sold by Hidden Brook for $200,000 at the 2021 Keeneland November sale. He was part of a big day for Hidden Brook Farm Raised & Sold 3-Year-Olds with 2022 Keeneland September grad Wynstock earning his second Stakes trophy in the Los Al Derby later in the afternoon.

Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in a field reduced to five with the scratch of Mattingly, Neat and jockey Junior Alvarado sat a stalking trip behind slow early splits of :24.63 and :49.49. Full of horse turning for home, Alvarado angled Neat into the clear and the colt exploded over the Aqueduct turf, roaring past the pacesetting Drunk On Sake  and opening up a commanding lead in midstretch.

“I’m just super proud of the effort from this horse and Rob for being so patient waiting for a spot like this,” Gullatt said. “The horse showed up and it was just super impressive for all of our partners. I’m just super happy with how the horse is progressing.”

Gotham Stakes (G3) winner Deterministic, making his turf debut for trainer Christophe Clement, found his momentum late and rallied but could not catch Neat. The winner held safe by three-quarters of a length under the wire in a final time of 1:36.27 on a firm turf course.

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