Mongolian Saturday (Any Given Saturday) wins the Woodford (G3) at Keeneland on 10.8.2016.
Returning to the scene of his biggest career victory, Mongolian Stable’s Mongolian Saturday found his way back to the Keeneland winner’s circle in the G3 Woodford Stakes on Saturday. The 6-year-old son of Any Given Saturday sped through 5 1/2 furlongs over the firm turf in 1:03.46 under Carlos Montalvo for trainer Enebish Ganbat, recording his first win since the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last fall by a half-length.
“He loves Keeneland. Lexington is his home town,” Ganbat said. “This summer, we were in England and a doctor found (he had) a big ulcer. It took two months (for the horse to fully recover) but it seems everything is all right. We’re going to take him to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.”
Mongolian Saturday broke on top of the field, but had immediate company from Bucchero and Shogood. That group spread out three-wide across the track with Mongolian Saturday the widest through a first quarter in :21.75. They were tracked by Big Rock and Front Pocket Money. All the way through the turn, the three leaders screamed across the track together to turn for home still head-and-head.
Changing leads in the stretch, Mongolian Saturday let out a brief burst to take a one-length advantage over the leaders, daring the rest of the field to come and get him. Making up a lot of ground late, Hogy was cutting into that lead with every stride, but could only close the gap to a half-length at the wire. Mongolian Saturday held on for his first win since the Breeders’ Cup, and Hogy settled for second. There was a dead head for third between Front Pocket Money and Galton.
“Oh my god, what a wonderful trip,” Montalvo said. “When he drew that hole, the 12 hole, he (trainer Ganbat) was very happy. He said, ‘Don’t mess it up. The horse knows what to do, just don’t mess it up.’
Bred in Kentucky by Normandy Farm, Mongolian Saturday was a $ 60,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase. Ganbat indicated that the team would return to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint to defend their title next month at Santa Anita. Overall, the gelding boasts a career record of 8-8-6 from 36 career starts for earnings of over $ 1.1 million.
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