Photo: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
When Saginaw beat Royal Currier in yesterday's Gravesend Handicap, it not only marked his seventh stakes win, but it added to his remarkable season win total. It was his 10th win from 13 starts this year, an impressive victory total that leaves the six-year-old son of Peruvian tied with two other horses, Clean Jean and Winning Dubai, for most wins among horses that have made at least one start in North America. The winning performance at Aqueduct also was impressive enough for me to name him ZATT’s Star of the Week.
With Junior Alvarado in the saddle, the New York-bred gelding kept in close contact with the speedy Royal Currier through opening fractions of 23.37 and 45.83 seconds. As the leading pair came spinning out of the far turn, the local favorite drew alongside Royal Currier, and after a stretch-long battle, edged clear to win by a length. Saginaw stopped the teletimer in a sharp 1:09.40 for the six furlongs over the fast strip.
Owned by trainer, David Jacobsen, and the successful New York based partnership, Drawing Away Stable, the Gravesend victory raised Saginaw’s lifetime record to 16-6-2 from 34 lifetime starts. The lion’s share of the $75,000 purse also allowed Saginaw to surpass the half-million dollar mark in earnings in 2012. Not bad for a horse who was running for a tag earlier this year.
Claimed for $30,000 in March by the Jacobson and Drawing Away team, Saginaw has now come home a winner in 10 of 12 races since entering the starting gate in that race at Aqueduct. Along the way he has won stakes races six times against statebreds, with yesterday’s win becoming his first stakes win against open company.
Robert Hachemeister Jr., a managing partner of Drawing Away Stable, was understandably thrilled with the big win. "The feeling is indescribable. Winning an open stakes against a horse like Linda Rice's Royal Currier is huge. It's the biggest win of his career."
Hachemeister went on to explain what Saginaw means to the partnership. "He exemplifies what our partnership is trying to do. We are blue collar guys who want to run with the big dogs, and Saginaw signifies that the little guy can succeed if he tries hard enough."
Assuming that things go as planned, the Drawing Away star will run next in the $75,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes at the Big A on December 26, according to Jacobsen. A win there would give him eleven wins for the year, and despite the excellence of The Lumber Guy, and young New York-bred turf stars, Dayatthespa and Unbridled Command, it would be hard to call anyone but Saginaw, The King of New York. Just ask his growing army of fans.