Day 19 of the 2013
Saratoga meeting brought wet weather for one of the first times of the summer.
All the races were taken off the turf including the Hall of Fame Stakes. The
main track was posted as sloppy and was it ever, the racing surface was
extensively covered with puddles. Twenty-six horses were listed as early
scratches, leaving most handicappers and bettors uninterested in the card.
As it turned out there was
a Sweet Reason to enjoy the wet
racing at the Spa. Race five was originally carded as a maiden special weight
for two year-old fillies going five and a half furlongs on the grass that drew
11 betting interests. Taken off the grass, scratches reduced the field to
eight, including two AE’s and a main track only entrant.
Breaking from the rail as
the #2 horse was Sweet Reason, a filly by Street Sense, who was an $185,000
yearling purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. Alex Solis was the
rider on this Leah Gyarmati runner
for the Treadway Racing Stable. The rail was the worst part of the track, where
the surface water looked more like a stream than puddles.
You can watch the race by
clicking on this link to the NYRA Race 5 Video. At the start Solis is pumping Sweet Reason vigorously to try
and keep his horse in contact with the field, but to no avail as she quickly
drops off the video screen. Track announcer Tom Durkin says, “A long way back
to Sweet Reason.” The DRF chart said she was 19 lengths behind the leader and
eight behind seventh place.
Heading into the turn
Sweet Reason began to fly over the slop and you can see her regain contact with
the field near the quarter pole. Coming down the stretch Durkin says that the
leader Sky Crew is, “Just pouring it on in the final furlong.” At that point
the leader was ahead by at least two lengths and was drawing away from all the
horses except Sweet Reason. The Street Sense filly was now barreling down the
middle of the stretch.
The skilled Durkin quickly
changed his call, “Look at Sweet Reason come, look at Sweet Reason come,
indeed.” Dramatically Sweet Reason overtook Sky Crew and in a flash, or should
I say splash, and opened up to a six length victory in 1:04.78, earning a Beyer
Speed Figure of 82.
After dismounting in the
winner’s circle, you could see Solis talking to Gyarmati about Sweet Reason’s
sudden acceleration. He shows the trainer how the horse’s sudden change in
speed caused him to jerk back.
Photo from NYRA video feed
Sweet Reason is the ninth
foal from Livermore Leslie, a 1993 Mt. Livermore mare, who had already produced
eight runners with seven of them being winners. Her 2006 foal, Don’t Forget
Gil, was the champion three year-old NY-bred filly in 2009 after winning the Florida Oaks and
placing in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
It will be very
interesting to see Sweet Reason’s next race. Will she run on the grass as was
intended today? Was this $21.60 victory for the daughter of Street Sense just a
freak performance by a horse that loves a sloppy track? Or is Sweet Reason
going to be a player in the juvenile filly division?