Sweet Reason to Enjoy a Sloppy Track

Sweet Reason to Enjoy a Sloppy Track
Day 19 of the 2013 Saratoga meeting brought wet weather for one of the first times of the summer. All the races were taken off the turf including the Hall of Fame Stakes. The main track was posted as sloppy and was it ever, the racing surface was extensively covered with puddles. Twenty-six horses were listed as early scratches, leaving most handicappers and bettors uninterested in the card.
As it turned out there was a Sweet Reason to enjoy the wet racing at the Spa. Race five was originally carded as a maiden special weight for two year-old fillies going five and a half furlongs on the grass that drew 11 betting interests. Taken off the grass, scratches reduced the field to eight, including two AE’s and a main track only entrant.
Breaking from the rail as the #2 horse was Sweet Reason, a filly by Street Sense, who was an $185,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. Alex Solis was the rider on this Leah Gyarmati runner for the Treadway Racing Stable. The rail was the worst part of the track, where the surface water looked more like a stream than puddles.
You can watch the race by clicking on this link to the NYRA Race 5 Video. At the start Solis is pumping Sweet Reason vigorously to try and keep his horse in contact with the field, but to no avail as she quickly drops off the video screen. Track announcer Tom Durkin says, “A long way back to Sweet Reason.” The DRF chart said she was 19 lengths behind the leader and eight behind seventh place.
Heading into the turn Sweet Reason began to fly over the slop and you can see her regain contact with the field near the quarter pole. Coming down the stretch Durkin says that the leader Sky Crew is, “Just pouring it on in the final furlong.” At that point the leader was ahead by at least two lengths and was drawing away from all the horses except Sweet Reason. The Street Sense filly was now barreling down the middle of the stretch.
The skilled Durkin quickly changed his call, “Look at Sweet Reason come, look at Sweet Reason come, indeed.” Dramatically Sweet Reason overtook Sky Crew and in a flash, or should I say splash, and opened up to a six length victory in 1:04.78, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 82.
After dismounting in the winner’s circle, you could see Solis talking to Gyarmati about Sweet Reason’s sudden acceleration. He shows the trainer how the horse’s sudden change in speed caused him to jerk back.
Photo from NYRA video feed
Sweet Reason is the ninth foal from Livermore Leslie, a 1993 Mt. Livermore mare, who had already produced eight runners with seven of them being winners. Her 2006 foal, Don’t Forget Gil, was the champion three year-old NY-bred filly in 2009 after winning the Florida Oaks and placing in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
It will be very interesting to see Sweet Reason’s next race. Will she run on the grass as was intended today? Was this $21.60 victory for the daughter of Street Sense just a freak performance by a horse that loves a sloppy track? Or is Sweet Reason going to be a player in the juvenile filly division? 
Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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