Here Comes Ben continued his upward
ascent in class with a late-running victory on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course
in the 31st running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Forego.
Freshened after concluding his sophomore season with a fifth-place
finish in a minor stakes at Turfway Park in December, Here Comes Ben opened
2010 with a pair of easy victories in allowance races in Kentucky in the spring
and a neck decision in the Kelly’s Landing at Churchill Downs on June 25,
with all three wins coming in seven-furlong races.
Here Comes Ben had raced on or just off the lead in those three triumphs,
but employed new tactics in the Forego as he sought his fourth win this year in
as many starts at the distance.
Last of nine leaving the chute, the 4-year-old advanced to race in
seventh along the backstretch and skimmed the rail as the field rounded the
turn. Jockey Alex Solis guided Here Comes Bend off the rail for the stretch
run, and the dark bay colt rallied between horses to tag Big Drama in the
waning strides to get up by three-quarters of a length.
“I had hoped I’d be laying fourth, fifth or sixth but he
was more relaxed than I thought he would be,” said Solis, who picked up
his first stakes win of the 2010 Saratoga
meet. “When we got to the half-mile pole I asked him and we started
marching and at the quarter pole when I really got after him we started coming
and he did his thing.”
Off at 9-1, Here Comes Ben returned $21.80 for a $2 win wager and
stopped the timer in 1:22.50.
Winning trainer Charles Lopresti was cautiously optimistic going into
“I was a little intimidated coming up here because I’ve
never run in a Grade 1 before, but I knew had the numbers and Alex [Solis] has
been telling me all along he’s a really good horse,” said Lopresti.
“We brought him up here two weeks ago and he trained really well and did
everything right. We had to see if he was this kind of horse, and he proved it
Bred in Kentucky
by his owners, Marianne and Brandon Chase, Here Comes Ben has earned $354,872
to date, including $150,000 for his victory in the Forego. The son of Street
Cry has posted a record of 6-1-3 from 12 starts.
Vineyard Haven, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by the winner and two lengths by Big
Drama, held third by a neck over Warrior’s Reward. Girolamo, a stablemate
to Vineyard Haven, finished fifth, with Bribon, Omniscient, You and I Forever,
and Checklist completing the order of finish.