It was a
Straight Story indeed Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, as the
even-money favorite took the 31st
running of the $100,000 West Point
for New York-breds.
Although he stumbled slightly out
of the gate, Straight Story went right after pacesetter Spa City Fever, who led
the field through opening fractions of 22.57 and 48.12. After rating in second
through three-quarters in 1:12.37, Straight Story moved into the lead on the far
turn and edged clear to win by a length.
His final time for the 1
1/8th miles over firm turf was 1:48.58.
“On the inner turf, the ground is
kind of firm, and the speed was holding,” said winning jockey Javier
Castellano. “I was able to take
advantage of that. Turning for home, he was very comfortable and was looking
around a little bit. I didn’t want him to wait on horses; I wanted him to open
up a little bit.”
It was the third win of the year
for Straight Story, a 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway who took a pair of turf
allowance races before finishing fourth in the Grade 1 United Nations at
Park on July 3.
“I was hoping he would settle a
little more than he did,” winning trainer Alan Goldberg said by phone. “He
started to get a little excited toward the end of the post parade and in the
gate. He's actually a pretty laid-back horse, he just gets keyed up for racing.
He never got covered up today, but it worked out.”
Pocket Cowboys finished well for
second over Icabad Crane. Banrock, who was attempting to win the
race for the third consecutive year, was fourth and Spa City Fever, Midnight
Billy, Minnie Punt, Piazza Di Spagna,
Kutais and Come Undone completed the order of finish.
Straight Story has now earned
$556,390 for owner Richard Santulli, with a record of 5-5-0 from 14 starts. He returned $4.10 to his backers at the
Spa on Thursday afternoon. Goldberg
said he was uncertain where the horse would start next.