Saginaw, a 10-time winner in 2012, launched his 2013 campaign in
triumphant fashion, finishing with a flurry to defeat Readytodefer by a
head in the
$75,000 Hollie Hughes on Monday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Favored at 3-5 in the six-furlong race for New York-breds 3
years old and up, Saginaw raced in second as Readytodefer set fractions
of 23.12 and 45.77 seconds while
on a clear lead. Readytodefer maintained a two-length lead to the
eighth pole, but
Saginaw surged late to take the lead 20 yards from the finish.
“He broke good and I tried to just put him in a good spot where
he could be comfortable,” said winning jockey Junior Alvarado. “Turning
for home, I just asked him to
go and he started giving me the kick. He’s a game, good horse and he
knows what he’s doing. He just got there right at the wire.”
Saginaw, a 7-year-old son of Peruvian, paid $3.20 and completed the distance in swift 1:10.51.
Claimed for $30,000 by trainer David Jacobson last March,
has now won 10 of 13 starts for his new connections, including seven
stakes. He finished 2012 in a three-way tie for the most wins in
North America with 10. His attempt to win his 11th race in 2012 fell 12 ¾ lengths short when he was third in the Alex M. Robb at 1 1/16 miles at the Big A on December 26.
“He still has it, and I think, hopefully, this is the beginning of a long campaign for 2013,” said Jacobson, who owns
in partnership with Drawing Away Stable. “[We’ll take it] race by race.
He might need another two months off, or we might get him back in next
week, but that’s totally up to him.”
“He’s not the fastest horse I’ve ever had, but he has the biggest heart,” the trainer added.
Both Jacobson and Drawing Away managing partner Ed Boden said they expect
Saginaw to move forward off his Hollie Hughes victory.
“He wasn’t really 100 percent; he won on his class,” said Boden.
“Hopefully it will be start of another big year for him. Once he
started moving in the stretch, I knew
he would catch [Readytodefer] because he doesn’t like to lose.”
Saginaw is 17-6-3 in 36 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share of the Hollie Hughes purse pushed his career earnings to $791,690.
Be Bullish, also trained by Jacobson, rallied to finish third,
beaten one length. Uncle T Seven and Sportswriter completed the order of