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Telling Repeats in Sword Dancer

Telling wins the Sword Dancer
Telling demonstrated his affinity for Saratoga Race Course on Saturday by rallying along the inside to win the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational for the second straight year.


Deftly ridden by Garrett Gomez, Telling received a clear trip as he raced in midpack behind fractions of 48.27 and 1:13.23. Asked to pick it up on the far turn, the 6-year-old split two opponents at the head of the lane, cut back inside for his stretch run, and outkicked Bearpath to register a 1 ½-length victory.


“When they quickened up the backside, I was having a little trouble telling how fast they were actually going and deciding whether or not to go after the leaders at that point,” said Gomez. “But my horse was bobbling a bit so I decided to switch him to the outside a little and wait. When we turned for home, the horse in front of us dropped off. I just dove toward the fence, and it was like he found new life. He’s just one of those horses that stays on really well going a mile and a half.”


Telling, a 10-1 outsider in the field of 9, rewarded his backers in the crowd of 30,210 with a $22.60 payout for a $2 win wager, negotiating the 1 ½ miles over the Inner Turf Course in 2:25.29.


Sixth last time out in the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park on July 3, Telling was seeking his first victory since upsetting last year’s Sword Dancer at 33-1. His trainer Steve Hobby, however, believed his charge was rounding back into form just in time for a title defense.


“[Gomez] sure chose the right way – that’s the one thing I told him, that he probably prefers the outside than being in, but it’s not something I’d make a drastic change to do,” said Hobby. “It’s tremendous to win again – it’s something we had aimed at from the last time, and to make it work a year later is really amazing.”


Telling, whose record now stands at 6-4-4 from 23 starts, earned $300,000 to improve his bankroll to $831,049. The son of A.P. Indy was bred in Kentucky by Darley.


Al Khali, who led at the top of the stretch, held off Interpatation by a length to finish third. Completing the order of the finish were Expansion, the 9-5 favorite; Grand Couturier, winner of this race in 2007 and 2008; Grassy; Romp; and Marlang.




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