When Wired Bryan won the Sanford (G2) at Saratoga, it was a victory for the student over the teacher. Trainer Michael Dilger, who grew up in Ireland,
was an assistant for Todd Pletcher for seven years. For the past four years he
took care of the Pletcher’s Delaware Park string. It was only in January of
this year that Dilger went out on his own.
The win was only the third
of Dilger’s training career and his first stakes and graded stakes victory.
Wired Bryan is a home bred by Stormy Atlantic colt from the Anstu Farm.
Wired Bryan won his first
start at Belmont Park on June 19th in a five-furlong maiden for New
York-breds. He took that race easily by more than seven lengths. Dilger
explained why thay went from that race to the Sanford. “He’s a New York-bred
and there were no restricted stake races for him until later on in the year.
The timing fit it to run him here. He has run super.”
Wired Bryan broke on top right
out of gate and covered the first quarter in :22.40. He continued closest to
the rail and got the half in :45.31. Down the stretch he faced a bit of
pressure but drew off to a five and a quarter length victory.
I told Shaun [jockey
Bridgmohan] to be close and if he was on the lead that was fine,” explained
Dilger. “He’s a horse that’s very relaxed in the gate. He breaks super sharp.
That early speed is his weapon. The horse did what is natural for him. I was a
little nervous when he got headed, but Shaun came back and said he’s not a
one-dimensional horse. He’s a horse that can rate if he needs to.”
Debt Ceiling came in to the Sanford unbeaten in three starts that included two
stakes, one of them the Bashford Manor (G3). Today was not his day according to
his regular rider Eric Camacho. “I broke nice. He’s
a nice horse, and he started to get a little aggressive behind other horses. He
got me in a bad spot around the turn, and I had to snatch him up and take him
back. I still was sitting in a perfect position, but when we came to the
three-eighths pole I was already under a drive. I was out of horse. He’s chased
fast paces and he’s run into fast paces before, but today just wasn’t his day.”