Racing Stables' Forty Tales came flying down the stretch to reel in
Mico Margarita and draw away for a three-quarter length victory in the
Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
It marked the third
consecutive graded stakes win for Forty Tales, a 3-year-old Tale of the
Cat colt who ran the Amsterdam's 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.64 and returned
$7.30 for a $2 win bet as the 5-2 favorite.
"He likes this
distance," said Tristan Barry, assistant to winning trainer Todd
Pletcher. "He does his thing; he comes from off the pace and runs them
down. He seems comfortable doing that, and we're happy he likes it."
Mico Margarita was a
length in front of third-place finisher and 21-1 long shot Salutos
Amigos. Mentor Cane, Declan's Warrior, previously undefeated Rainbow
Heir and Cat Five Hurricane completed the order of finish.
Winner of the Grade 3
Derby Trial and Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by NYRA Rewards in his
previous two starts, Forty Tales was reserved at the back of the
six-horse field as Mentor Cane led through blazing fractions of 21.77
seconds for the first quarter-mile and 44.49 for the half.
"Anytime you have a
horse like that, you like to see a fast pace on the front end," Barry
said. "When that happened, it set up for him."
Mentor Cane began to
drift out leaving the backstretch, allowing room for Mico Margarita to
assume the top spot. Trailing by just under three lengths turning for
home, Forty Tales swung outside under jockey Joel Rosario and steadily
gained on Mico Margarita, surging ahead past the sixteenth pole.
"He found himself really
far back early," said Rosario. "But, at the five-sixteenths [pole], you
could really see he was moving. I didn't know if we were going to get
there or not, but he really tried hard."
The victory was Rosario's fourth of the afternoon, and he leads the jockey standings with 15 winners.
The Amsterdam was the fifth win in seven lifetime starts for Forty Tales, who increased his purse earnings to $579,789.
"We'll just try and find
another seven-furlong event for him and go from there," Barry said.
"The Vosburgh [Grade 1, September 28] is an option at Belmont, and the
King's Bishop [Grade 1, August 24, Saratoga Race Course]. We'll see. I'm
sure we'll talk it over with the owners and go from there."
Mico Margarita had won
his two starts prior to the Amsterdam, including a 4 ½-length score in
the Grade 3 Carry Back at Calder Race Course on July 6.
"He ran really good,"
said Steve Asmussen, who trains Mico Margarita for Kirk and Judy
Robison. "He came back pretty quick out of the Carry Back, but the horse
came out of that race in good shape, and I thought he ran as hard as he