Northern Invader led home a 1-2 sweep for West Point Thoroughbreds in the Gio Ponti Stakes on Friday at Aqueduct and delivered a new best for the WPT stable in a single year with 65 victories.
The previous yearly bests from the West Point roster came in 2007 with 64 wins and in 2009 and 2019 with 61. The strike rate is 20 percent in 2023.
Northern Invader has accounted for two trips to the winner’s circle this season for trainer Cherie DeVaux. Jose Ortiz gave him a heady ride on Friday afternoon, taking command going toward the far turn and the colt opened up daylight on the short field in the stretch, with only fellow West Point runner Ohana Honor cutting into the margin late to finish a nice second in his stakes debut.
West Point campaigns Northern Invader in a racing partnership with Cherie’s husband, David Ingordo. He was acquired at the OBS April sale of two-year-olds in training in 2022.
Shug McGaughey trains Ohana Honor, who has been terrific in three straight races (wins on both dirt and turf prior to Friday) since undergoing surgery to remove an undescended testicle.