Shipsational prevails in Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont

Midshipman juvenile has won two of three career starts

Shipsational overtook leader Senbei at the eighth pole and powered through the stretch to win the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes by two lengths at Belmont Park Sept. 26.

With the victory, the two-year-old colt by Midshipman improved his record to two wins in three career starts.

Senbei, winner of the Funny Cide Stakes in his previous start, went to the lead out of the starting gate. Shipsational, piloted by Luis Saez, tracked that rival from second while saving ground along the inside rail. 

Shipsational angled into the two-path on the far turn, then ranged alongside to challenge Senbei for the lead at the top of the stretch. The Midshipman colt then took command with a furlong to run on his way to posting a two-length victory.

Bred in New York by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone, Shipsational was a $210,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training. Shipsational is the 10th foal out of the winning Thunder Gulch mare, Regal Approach. All nine of Regal Approach’s foals to race are winners, including Shipsational. Regal Approach is out of the Stakes winner Regal Approval and is a half-sister to G3 Red Smith Handicap winner, Mr Maybe.

Shipsational became the third Stakes winner of the weekend for his sire, Midshipman, joining Kopenhagen (G3 Grande Premio Parana in Brazil) and Minecraft Maniac (Governor Terry E. Branstad Stakes at Prairie Meadows). Other 2021 Stakes winners include Royal Ship (G2 Californian), Special Reserve (G3 Maryland Sprint Stakes) and Naval Laughter (G3 Modesty).