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Ramon Dominguez celebrates his 6th win on the card aboard Unbridled Command the winner's circle after the Saranac.
The final Sunday of the 2012 Saratoga meeting featured two graded stakes, contested under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's before an official attendance of 59,187, artificially inflated by turnstile spinners taking advantage of the fleece blanket giveaway.
The $300,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) is the premier race at Saratoga for 2-year-old fillies, contested at 7 furlongs on the main track. Teen Pauline, winner of her 5f debut last out by 4 1/2 lengths, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 5 over
5-2 second choice Seasoned Warrior, a maiden winner in her second start, and 7-2 third choice and Schuylerville Stakes (G3) winner So Many Ways.
So Many Ways draws off in the stretch.
Also on the card was the Saranac Stakes (G3) won by Unbridled Command.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 So Many Ways Castellano 9.80 4.90 2.50 4 Sweet Shirley Mae Desormeaux 11.80 3.80 1 Teen Pauline Leparoux 2.10 Winning Time: 1:23.74 $2 Exacta 3-4 137.00 $2 Trifecta 3-4-1 224.00
Left: So Many Ways in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Tony Dutrow said, "This filly came to Saratoga an infant and just as the weeks went by you could see her turning, putting on weight, growing, maturing. I didn't know how good and talented (Teen Pauline) was. I knew she was talented, but I didn't know how good. I'm not surprised, but I sure am happy. She came out of there with running on her mind. Todd (Pletcher's Corail) pushed Asmussen, and our filly picked up the pieces. We've won it two years in a row now, and I can't believe where I'm standing."
Right: So Many Ways gets hosed off after the race.
Left: So Many Ways in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a beautiful trip. She's pretty quick out of the gate, and she settled beautiful behind the two horses. She was going to be in the bridle today and she was going to be close to the pace and give me the kick the way she did today. She's been training phenomenal, and the last time I rode her, she was very impressive. She's got a long, beautiful stride. I can't wait to stretch her out a little bit. I think she can go farther, and I have a lot of confidence with her."
Right: So Many Ways returns after the race.
Left: Second place finisher Sweet Shirley Mae heads out to the track before the race. Jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "She made a super effort in the end. I was very proud of her. I would like to take the credit, but it was all Wesley's idea. He wanted to make one big run with her, and she almost got the job done."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Teen Pauline returns after the race. Trainer Steve Asmussen said, "I think how heavy the track played today was a factor. They closed like crazy. It was a completely different track than the one she broke her maiden on." Jockey Julien Leparoux added, "She put me in the race nicely. She showed me the same speed as before. She was doing it pretty easily, but she couldn't finish today."
Unbridled Command wins the Saranac Stakes (G3)
11-1 Skyring was sent to a clear lead first time by and he set fractions of 22.51, 46.35, 1:10.80, and 1:34.84 over the firm course while as many as 8 lengths clear of the rest of the field led by 16-1 Spring to the Sky. At the top of the stretch, 10-1 Unbridled Command, fifth early, moved up to challenge, and after battling through the final furlong, pushed ahead to win by 1/2 a length in 1:46.54. It was just a length back from Skyring to late-running favorite Lucky Chappy third.
Left: Unbridled Command in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Tom Bush said, "Beautiful. Fabulous. I love it! I actually think the horse would have been 15-1 or 16-1 if it wasn't for Ramon riding. I was very fortunate to get him. You're always in good hands in the big races when you can get the top riders, and he's obviously the best. We were happy to get him. The horse has done wonderfully up here. He came out of his last race really good and had two really good works. His last work was sensational. It was as good as a horse can work. I was just hoping he had enough class to run good, and he did."
Right: Unbridled Command in the paddock before the race. With the win, his 6th on Sunday and 66th of the meet, jockey Ramon Dominguez broke John Velazquez's Saratoga meet record set in 2004. He is also the first jockey in Saratoga history to win 6 races in a card twice in the same meet, having also done so on July 22. He said, "Actually, I am having a great day. Everything is working out great. It's one of those days when you have to pinch yourself. I was focusing on giving (Unbridled Command) the best ride that I could and getting the most from him. Coming to the 3/8 pole, when I was able to squeeze in between horses, he gave me a great kick. I knew I wasn't already there, but I was excited. I said to myself, 'Win or lose, at this point, I am within a chance of breaking the record!'"
Left: Second place finisher Skyring heads out for the post parade. The 11-1 shot was loose on the lead under Joel Rosario but could not hold off the winner, finishing second beaten just 1/2 length. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $189,917 for owner-breeder Bluegrass Hall LLC.
Right: Third place finisher Lucky Chappy returns after the race. The 6-5 favorite was unhurried 8th under jockey Alan Garcia, then rallied to get third beaten 1 1/2 lengths. The Graham Motion trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $326,277 for owner Team Valor International.
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