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.