Serving as a preamble to Travers Day, Friday’s New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course featured six New York-bred stakes races worth $ 1.15 million, with trainer Chad Brown, a native of Mechanicville, N.Y., bookending the day’s stakes action by Sunset Ridge’s streak-extending victory the $ 200,000 Fleet Indian in Race 3 and Twisted Tom’s second straight stakes win in the $ 250,000 Albany in Race 10.
Alpha Delta Stables’ Sunset Ridge improved her perfect start to 4-for-4, handling the step-up to stakes company by posting a 6 ¼-length win in the fourth running of the Fleet Indian for 3-year-old fillies.
Sunset Ridge broke last in the five-horse field but recovered to stalk pacesetter Somekindasexy, who set fractions of 24.19 seconds for a quarter-mile with the half going in 48.22. Jockey Jose Ortiz moved Sunset Ridge to the front with a half-mile to go and cleared away from Bonita Bianca in the stretch, completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.28 over a fast main track.
Sent off as the overwhelming 1-20 favorite, the Fusaichi Pegasus filly returned $ 2.10 for a $ 2 win wager.
Bonita Bianca was second, 13 lengths ahead of Somekindasexy in third. Danielle’s Pride and Five Each Way completed the order of finish.
Twisted Tom captured his second straight stakes race for New-York breds while taking the 40th running of the Albany for 3-year-olds, and in the process gave Brown his second stakes and third win overall on the card.
Owned by Cobra Farm, RR Farm and Head of the Plains partners, Twisted Tom was rated patiently by Javier Castellano as the early leaders set splits of 24.04 and 48.41 for the first half-mile of the 1 1/8-mile race. As the field of six rounded the far turn, the chestnut gelding made his bid despite racing four wide and when Castellano went to the whip to ask the son of Creative Cause for more, he responded by taking over at the top of the lane.
Twisted Tom shook clear inside the eighth pole and then drew away under strong urging to cross the wire in 1:50.25 on a fast track, 4 1/2 lengths in front of Can You Diggit. Pat on the Back was another 1 3/4 lengths behind.
Dispatched as the even money favorite and shouldering highweight of 124 pounds, Twisted Tom returned $ 4.30. Twisted Tom, who won a pair of stakes against open company at Laurel Park in the spring, was the sixth-place finisher in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes June 10.
“I’m really proud of this horse. He had a really tough trip. He was very wide on his last turn and giving seven pounds to everyone in the field, which is a lot to spot here,” Brown said. “To overcome all that and draw away like he did was great to see. He really got a bad break in the first turn of the Belmont, where a horse clipped him from behind and really cut the horse up bad. We’re really lucky it wasn’t a more serious injury. He didn’t get to run his race in the Belmont. Fortunately, my staff rehabbed the horse and got him back to normal health and training well again. You saw the result today. The horse ran terrific.”
Twisted Tom, who was bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor, improved his earnings to $ 500,131 and has now won six of nine starts. Broken Engagement, D’yer Mak’er and Dynamax Prime completed the order of finish.
In Race 5, Gold Square’s Aveenu Malcainu ($ 6.70) overcame a rough afternoon before charging from off the pace and edged away in mid-stretch to win the $ 200,000 Funny Cide by 2 ½ lengths under jockey Luis Saez in a time of 1:17.69 for the 6 ½ furlongs.
The son of Into Mischief entered the race with a few bumps and bruises after becoming restless in his stall before the race. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart considered scratching him and instead wait for the Grade 1 Hopeful on September 4, but decided his colt was fine and primed after his closing three-quarter-length victory in his first career start on July 28.
“He’s a competitor,” Englehart said. “He hasn’t done anything spectacular. He just kind of does it, and it seems like it’s real easy. After that first race, in the mornings he started to grab the bridle a little more.”
What a Catch, the 2-1 favorite, inherited the lead at the top of the stretch before the son of Into Mischief closed on the outside. Inalienable Rights came on late for second over What a Catch, who ended her two career race win streak by checking in for third.
Aveenu Malcainu, named after a Jewish prayer, was sent off at odds of 2-1 and returned $ 6.70.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard Chester and Mary Broman’s Bar of Gold ($ 13) made a courageous run along the hedge to capture the 38th running of the $ 150,000 Yaddo for fillies and mares on the Mellon turf by 1 ¼ lengths in Race 7. The John Kimmel trainee stalked pacesetter Freudie Annie, who set fractions of 23.71 seconds for the quarter mile and 48.20, and raced beside the eventual runner-up Fourstar Crook.
“Irad is really getting to know her,” said Kimmel. “Today, he waited and it wasn’t that she got bumped at the top of the stretch. He kind of faked like he was going to the outside and then dropped in. She shot through there like a cannon. He’s really getting to know her and getting confident with her now.”
Flipcup, Ack Naughty, Freudie Annie, Feeling Bossy, and Jet Majesty completed the order of finish.
The identical connections of Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers contender Irap combined to take Friday’s $ 200,000 Seeking the Ante for 2-year-old fillies with Cause We Are Loyal ($ 24.40) in Race 8.
Sitting comfortably mid-pack in fifth as Pauseforthecause led the front pack of speedsters through fractions of 22.10 and 46.16, the Reddam Racing-owned and Doug O’Neill-trained daughter of Creative Cause ranged up three wide on the turn and made a determined run toward the front under Mario Gutierrez. Asserting herself in mid-stretch, the gray filly then held off Jose Ortiz-piloted Newport Breeze to win her second race from three starts by three-quarters of a length, finishing up the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:20.21 and increasing her career bankroll to $ 153,480.
“I got a beautiful trip,” Gutierrez said. “I broke with good intentions thinking I was going to be up close to the pace, but they really wanted the lead, so I didn’t want to force my filly extra hard at the beginning. I decided to settle down for my position and wait for the race to unfold a little more. I started letting her run on the middle of the turn and as soon as I asked her she started giving it little by little. I tapped her a couple times, but when I changed my stick to the left hand, she really [responded.”
“We are so happy and this is such an honest filly,” said O’Neill. “You never know with a 2-year-old filly shipping this far [from Southern California]. She was showing us all the signs that she was going to run a big race, but you never know until they do it. She held her form and I thought Mario gave her a great ride. I’m just over the moon and am so happy.”
It was another three-quarters of a length to longshot Miss Mystique in third, followed by Pauseforthecause, Tudox Lifting Off, One Last Cast, Trouble for Skylar, Beaux Arts, and 6-5 favorite I Still Miss You.
“My filly stopped running completely,” said Castellano, rider of I Still Miss You. “She’s completely sound. She was hitting the ground good, but she hit the wall.”
With a late stretch run, Get Jets ($ 6.10) with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard captured the $ 150,000 West Point, presented by Trustco Bank, holding off Offering Plan and jockey Javier Castellano to complete the 1 1/16 course over the firm inner turf in a time of 1:39.49 in Race 9.
Black Tide led the field of eight through fast fractions of 23.28 seconds for the quarter, 46.44 for the half mile and 1:10.31 for three-quarters of a mile. Get Jets, trained by Tony Dutrow, saved ground the whole trip before going four wide in the stretch, surging to the front in the final furlong and drawing clear to win by half a length and capture his second stakes win and fifth career victory in 10 starts. Dutrow said he wasn’t sure if his Scat Daddy colt was going to pull out the win.
“I was concerned, but when I saw Javy [Castellano] doing the same thing on a horse that is very good through the stretch as well, I was feeling better, but at the top of the stretch, both those horses had a lot of work to do,” Dutrow said. “These turf races, the last sixteenth of a mile, you have to be in full gear, and Get Jets was.”
Finishing third was Kharafa, followed by Black Tide, All Is Number, King Kreesa, Changewilldoyagood and Macagone. Royal Posse and Fox Rules scratched.
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