Belmont Stakes champion Creme Fraiche, improving his chances for the Eclipse Award for 3-year-olds, crashed the million-dollar club Saturday with a 2 1/2-length victory over Encolure in Super Derby VI at Bossier City, La.
Trained by Woody Stephens and ridden by Eddie Maple, Creme Fraiche made up five lengths quickly at the head of the stretch en route to his fourth Grade I stakes victory of the year.
The victory gave Creme Fraiche and Brushwood Stables $300,000 of the $500,000 purse. Encolure earned $100,000, and Government Corner earned $50,000 for third.
The payoff increased Creme Fraiche’s career earnings to $1,229,264.
He went off as the 2-5 favorite and paid $2.80, $2.60 and $2.40. Encolure paid $6 and $3.80, while Government Corner returned $4. Time for 1 miles was 2:02 4/5.
Meadowlake, who resembles the great Secretariat, ran like the 1973 Triple Crown champion when he routed five two-year-olds in the 23rd running of the $477,200 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago.
Although breaking slowly, the big-chested colt quickly sprinted to the front in the 6 1/2-furlong race.
Meadowlake, a son of Hold Your Peace, led by four lengths in mid-stretch and coasted home an easy 8 3/4-length winner over Bar Tender in 1:16 4/5. Papal Power was third.
The winner returned $3.20, $3 and $2.10; Bar Tender’s paid $5.60 and $2.20, and Papal Power paid $2.10.
Noble Fighter, a Kentucky-bred colt raced solely in France, became the longest-priced horse ever to win the Turf Classic at Belmont Park when the 55-1 longshot took the $718,500 race, the richest thoroughbred event in New York history.
The 3-year-old horse also became the first supplementary entry and the youngest entrant to win the race.
Carrying 119 pounds and jockey Alain Lequeux, the 3-year-old son of Vaguely Noble Lindaria led the way home by three lengths. The favorite, Win, carrying 126 and with Richard Migliore up, was second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Strawberry Road, ridden by Yves St. Martin.
Noble Fighter, with only one win in eight previous career starts, appeared to have hardly any chance against 11 other turf specialists, some of them ranked among the world’s best.
In taking the Grade I event, Noble Fighter earned $431,100 and returned $113.40, $32.80 and $9.40 to his backers. Win paid $3.60 and $2.80, and Strawberry Road paid $3.20.
Noble Fighter covered 1 1/2 miles on the firm Widener turf course in 2:25 2/5, only one-fifth slower than the stakes record set by John Henry last year.