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Co-owner Sol Kumin leads Yoshida to the winner's circle after the Woodward Stakes (G1).
The final Saturday of the 2018 Saratoga meeting featured four graded stakes contested before 31,580 fans. It was cloudy most of the afternoon with temperatures in the mid 70's and the main track rated fast but turf courses good.
The highlight race on closing weekend is the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1). It is the major local prep for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and ultimately the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), for older horses going 1 1/8 miles over the main track. A full field of 14 faced the starter with Pegasus World Cup (G1) third place finisher Gunnevera sent off as the 7-2 favorite off an allowance win after disappointing in 8th in the Dubai World Cup (G1). In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Seeking the Soul, 5th in the Pegasus then a close second in the Michael Schafer Memorial, and 6-1 third choice Yoshida, winner of the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) but 5th in his next 2 starts, the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot and the Fourstardave (G1).
Down the stretch in the Woodward.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Yoshida Rosario 14.40 6.90 6.30 9 Gunnevera Zayas 5.10 4.10 11 Leofric Carmouche 10.80 Winning Time: 1:48.94 $2 Exacta 1-9 47.50 $1 Trifecta 1-9-11 848.00 $1 Superfecta 1-9-11-14 12,066.50
Left: Yoshida in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "He's got a lot of pedigree for the dirt. His mother won the Ballerina here and [his sire is] a son of Sunday Silence. I don't think you ever really know how they'll run on a surface until you try them Elliot Walden has been wanting to try it for a long time. We talked about it and Yoshida has been running so well on the turf and he's a Grade 1 winner on the turf, so you can't say we made a mistake by not running him on the dirt. We were going to do it, it was just a matter of the opportune time, and right now there was no turf race that we had in mind in the next 30 days so we thought let's do it."
Right: A very dirty Yoshida heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "He went very nice. I was just a passenger. He was taking very nice to the dirt, and he liked it early on. Turning for home, he was there for me, and he kept going. Like I said, I was just a passenger. All my thanks to Bill Mott, I'm glad I won the race for him, and that he gave me the opportunity. This is a nice horse."
Left: Yoshida in the paddock. Mott added, "The fractions were honest and he tips out. You just hope you find a way through. He never really had to stop. He swung out and he wasn't ridden around the entire turn. It looks like he swung out around the five-sixteenths pole. He was cruising, there was nobody getting to him. It looked like he was finishing stronger than anybody. After seeing this, the Breeders' Cup Classic would have to be on the table you'd think. He's a Grade 1 winner going 1 1/8 on the turf. We haven't won going 1 1/4, but after today you'd have to start thinking of his options."
Right: Joel Rosario celebrates as Yoshida returns after the race. Rosario added, "I don't know (about the foul claim). I never hit a horse. They [the stewards] told me there was [an inquiry], I went to the phone, but I guess they didn't allow it. I didn't talk to them."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Gunnevera heads out to the track before the race. Jockey Edgard Zayas said, "I really didn't like the post position. It was too close on the turn and he came out very, very wide. There were some speed horses to the outside. I had to check a little bit from the start and had to get him going again, which caused him to be a little further back than I wanted. But, he made a huge run in the end. Yoshida ran a very huge race. Yoshida, he beat us fair and square."
Right: Third place finisher Leofric returns after the race. The Brad Cox trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 12 starts, earning $530,340 for owner Steve Landers.
Sippican Harbor wins the Spinaway (G1).
62-1 Guacamole and 7-1 Nonna Madeline dueled out of the chute through fractions of 22.68 and 45.97 while pressed by Catherinethegreat and stalked by 126-1 Bella Ciao. Nonna Madeline led into the stretch through 3/4 in 1:11.06 but tired badly late. 16-1 Sippican Harbor, last early under Joel Rosario, came out 8 wide for the drive and rallied to win by 2 lengths over Restless Rider in 1:23.72. It was a neck back to 68-1 Cassies Dreamer third, while Chasing Yesterday failed to fire and checked in 7th.
Left: Sippican Harbor in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Gary Contessa said, "She was going to have to pass the acid test today. She beat up nobody in her last race and this time she had to beat up a lot of somebodys and she delivered. She's a good filly. She's as good as we thought she was. I really thought she was a turf horse, shows you what I know, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Today's effort was unbelievable because this field was loaded with good horses today. She ate dirt, I mean she's covered with dirt, she made that big move on the outside, a very impressive race. That's the kind of 2-year-old you want. One that is versatile, you can send her; she can be on the lead or you can take her back and come from last. She is just the coolest horse in the world. She makes my job easy."
Right: Sippican Harbor heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "She broke really well and her last race was on the dirt [maiden special weight on August 12] and she ran well and she likes to run. They get a little bit away from you in the beginning but that was OK, she has the one speed but she keeps getting better and better, improving, going forward. She handled everything well and enjoyed her run. She put in a nice run in the end and I kept her on the outside to keep her clear and not get any more mud in her face."
Left: Second place finisher Restless Rider in the post parade. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said, "She set herself up in really good shape and did it the right way. Heading for home, I had it measured. The filly that beat her, just ran over and she was better than us today, but we'll live to fight another day. Looking at the flow of the race before we went out there, we thought it set up well for us. She showed in her second race that she can put us where we need to be. That's what she did today, she put herself in a good spot and turning for home, we just got run down."
Right: Third place finisher Cassies Dreamer in the paddock. The Barclay Tagg trainee improved her record to 1 win and 1 third in 2 starts, earning $69,500 for owners Turf Racing Stable and Hayward Pressman.
Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Chasing Yesterday in the paddock and post parade. Jockey Mike Smith said, "We took a whole a lot of dirt and as you can see she just isn't used to it. You hate to come all the way here to school, but it certainly was a really good schooling race. But, she jumped, and jumped, and jumped so much until she wore herself out. I think this race will actually do her a whole lot of good and we'll see the real her the next time."
Raging Bull wins the Saranac Stakes (G3)
Jockey Javier Castellano sent Up the Ante to a clear lead first time by through fractions of 23.25, 48.04, and 1:12.11 while pressed by 14-1 Hot Springs and stalked by 10-1 Golden Brown. Up the Ante led to midstretch through 1 mile in 1:35.36, but Raging Bull, 4th early under Joel Rosario, came out 5 wide for room and rallied to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:47.19. It was a neck back to 11-1 March to the Arch third.
Left: Raging Bull in the winner's circle. Winnin trainer Chad Brown said, ""This horse got a great trip. I just want to say that Joel Rosario rode an unbelievable race. When you have a horse that's talented but runs from behind on turf, you're very trip dependent and I just can't believe what a trip this horse got. He made every decision the right one at every pole of this race. A lot of credit goes to him. The horse should really be undefeated. He got caught in a paceless race going a mile at Belmont [Manila on July 4] and ran a big, big race to close. He just couldn't get there. It's the only blemish on his record. This horse has a remarkable turn of foot. He knows where the wire is. He's an immense talent."
Right: Raging Bull heads out to the track before the race. The win extends Brown's record run to 42 wins for the meet. He added, "It's typical of the Saratoga meet. You have to work for every win no matter what your odds are. You're prepared, [but] there's a lot of people prepared and every win is really hard. It makes it even more meaningful to win this many races in a meet like this, knowing how difficult it is. It's an unbelievable feeling to hold this record here and share it with my team of employees, my team of horses, all of our family and friends that are here, all of our fans. This is our home track; we love it so much. We plan for it early. From January on, we're thinking about Saratoga. For things to unfold this well, we're very fortunately."
Left: Second place finisher Up the Ante returns after the race. The Christophe Clement trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds and 0 thirds in 7 starts, earning $219,203 for owner-breeder Castleton Lyons.
Right: Third place finisher March to the Arch heads out for the post parade. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $166,374 for owner-breeder Live Oak Plantation.
Lady Montdore wins the Glens Falls Stakes (G2)
Jockey Manuel Franco sent Lady Montdore to the lead soon after the start and she set slow early fractions of 27.79, 54.56, 1:21.31, and 1:46.45 while pressed by Santa Monica and stalked by 19-2 Danceland. Entering the lane, Lady Montdore took advantage of the slow early pace and quickly opened up a 2 length lead through 10f in 2:09.45. Kept to task by Franco, Lady Montdore cruised to a 2 1/4 length win over Santa Monica in 2:21.78. It was another length back to Danceland third.
Left: Lady Montdore in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Tom Albertrani said, "This is a really a wonderful filly to have around the barn. She didn't look like much when she first came in [May]; very skinny and light framed, and then she got my attention as she trained. She looked very talented and I started to really like her. She just went around the track with her ears pricked and made it look easy. I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to bring her back after two starts. I thought she had the talent that we could bring her back, and I'm looking big like the Breeders' Cup. That's one of the reasons we brought her back to this race. Maybe the Flower Bowl is next. We'll see how the timing works out."
Right: Lady Montdore heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Manuel Franco said, "Tom told me not to fight her. If she wanted to go, let her go. That's what I did. I didn't get in her way and she relaxed out there by herself. From the quarter-pole to the wire, she was just running like a bullet. I feel great. I've been having a great meet thanks to my agent and the owners who keep putting me on horses and it's a good feeling."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Santa Monica in the post parade. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 26 starts, earning $297,914 for owners Susan Magnier, Madaket Stables, and Deron Pearson.
Right: Third place finisher Danceland returns after the race. The Shug McGaughey trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earning $228,416 for owner-breeder Allen Stable Inc.
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