Emcee gave trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and
owner Godolphin Racing their fourth Grade 1 win of the 2012 Saratoga Race
Course meet by taking the $500,000 Forego by 4 ½ lengths on Saturday.
“It’s an honor to train for Godolphin and to have such
quality horses,” said McLaughlin, who earlier in the meet teamed with
Godolphin to post Grade 1 scores in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks and
Alabama with Questing and the Travers via dead heat with Alpha. “It makes
my job easier, but I have a great team of people behind me, and it’s been
an unbelievable meet. It’s hard to even believe. It will take some time
to sink in.”
Emcee, who was seeking his first Grade 1 in three starts at the level,
pressed pacesetter Pacific Ocean in second through
a quarter-mile in 22.64 seconds and a half in 45.38. Jersey Town made a bold
run along the inside to pass the top two in the run into the stretch before
Emcee overtook that rival inside the final furlong and drove clear late.
Hamazing Destiny nipped Jersey
Town by a neck for
Off as the 3-2 favorite, Emcee returned $5.10 for a $2 win wager and
ran seven furlongs in 1:21.00.
“My horse broke good and was right in the game,” said
winning jockey Alan Garcia. “Turning for home, when I asked him, he ran
and did it very well. I was very confident. It was a great post today, better
than last time. All I wanted was for him to break good and take it from there.
He did it the right way.”
Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on August 5, Emcee left from post
position 2, led in deep stretch, and was passed late by both Poseidon’s
Warrior and Justin Phillip to finish third, beaten a half-length. This time, he
departed from post 5 in the field of seven, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said
the outside post may have made the difference.
“Had we been outside in the Vanderbilt, we might have been in a
better spot,” said McLaughlin. “I’m just happy to win with
this horse. He deserved a Grade 1, and he got it today.”
After winning his first two races in impressive fashion, Emcee was
third in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap presented by Corona Extra in March at
Aqueduct Racetrack, then fourth in his Grade 1 debut, Aqueduct’s Carter
Handicap in April. A 4 ½-length optional-claiming victory on May 5 at Belmont Park preceded his third in the
Overall, Emcee is 4-0-2 in seven starts with $479,000 in earnings,
including the $300,000 winner’s share of the Forego purse.
Emcee, a 4-year-old, likely will have one start prior to a
Breeders’ Cup race in November at Santa Anita, McLaughlin said.
On Monday, McLaughlin and Godolphin will attempt to land another major
stakes win at Saratoga
when they send out Fortify in the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Hopeful. In addition
to their four Grade 1 triumphs, they also won Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy with Alpha
Caixa Eletronica was fourth, followed home by Pacific
Ocean, Isn’t He Perfect, and Jackson Bend. Shackleford, the
2-1 morning-line favorite, was scratched.