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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

The Two-Year-Olds took the Stage at Saratoga

Dutrow Sweeps the Sanford and the Special 
With a victory in the Saratoga Special (G2) by the 5-2 favorite I Spent It, trainer Tony Dutrow has now swept the two graded stakes races for the juvenile boys at the Spa. On the second day of the meeting, Big Trouble won the Sanford Stakes (G3).

In the Special it was a courageous move through a very tight opening on the rail that gave this son of Super Saver his two-length victory. I Spent It was $600,000 purchase earlier in the year at the Fasig-Tipton March 2014 sale.

A very brisk early pace was set by Repole Stable’s Nonna's Boy, who ran the first quarter in :21.67 and then the half-mile in :44.65. Cinco Charlie, who had finished just in front of Nonna’s Boy in the Sanford, was willing to chase behind in second place.

Throughout the early pace, I Spent It was guided along the rail by meet leading jockey Javier Castellano. As the horses moved down the stretch, Castellano had to wait for an opening on the rail as five horses battled for the lead across the track. I Spent It was in very tight quarters at the rail, but the youngster showed maturity and determination. As the tiring horses drifted out, Castellano was able to urge I Spent It through an opening and on to the victory.

Today Mr. Z finished a determined second as the second betting choice. In the Sanford he also missed the win, that time by a mere neck. Thus, this was the second time that the Zayat Stables runner would finish behind a Tony Dutrow trainee.

Dutrow said that prior to the Sanford, his two juvenile stars Big Trouble and I Spent It often trained together in the mornings. “These two trained a lot together and I really didn’t know which one was better. Unfortunately, Big Trouble got hurt and is going to be out for a while.”

In praise of today’s winner, Dutrow said, “I really wanted to be bold enough to tell everybody what a good horse this really was because all of us that work with him felt that way. If you watched him gallop out, he’s really a good colt.”

Castellano described the rail trip, "There was nowhere to go; [along the rail] was the only way he had, so I took a shot. The way he did it was brilliant. It was an impressive run; I think he's the real deal. He's a young horse and he's never been here before. And driving him home, he went just through and opened up. Not a lot of horses can do that."

The Adirondack Goes Faster than the Special

For the third time in the past four years Stonestreet Stables has won the Adirondack (G2) for two-year-old fillies. This year the winner was Cavorting, a daughter of Bernardini and Promenade Girl, who sold for $360,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November sale of 2012.

Cavorting was patiently ridden by Irad Ortiz as the jockey sat behind the early pace setter, Vivian Da Bling. The leader carved out speedy fractions of :22.60 and :46.72. It was at that point, after a half mile, that Ortiz began to ease Cavorting up to the leaders on the outside while entering the far turn.

After three quarters of a mile was run in 1:09.98, Vivan Da Bling was fading. The 9-5 favorite Angela Renee, who had been chasing the early pace from the start, tried to battle Cavorting in the stretch, but she could not match the impressive move that Cavorting was making. At the wire the daughter of Bernardini was a length and a half in front of Todd Pletcher’s Angela Renee. The final race time was 1:16.49 for the betting second choice who paid $9.50, $4.30, $3.10.

Stonestreet’s prior Adirondack winners were: future two year-old filly champion My Miss Aurelia in 2011 and in 2012 with Kauai Katie. Today, Cavorting was trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, even though Todd Pletcher trained Kauai Katie and My Miss Aurelia was in the barn of Steve Asmussen as a juvenile. In 2014 it seems that McLaughlin is Stonestreet's current trainer of choice for their juveniles since the much heralded son of Rachel Alexandra and Curlin, Jess’s Dream, has been sent to McLaughlin.

Cavorting was McLaughlin’s first win in the Adirondack. About the victor he said, "We had a lot of confidence because she's trained very well. She's a special filly. She ran 11 weeks after she came to us and won by 11 [lengths]. Usually our horses improve [in their] second start. She's a very talented filly."

Jockey Ortiz was a confident rider of the winner, "At the half-mile, I had to cut the corner. I didn't want to go too wide. I got in a little bit and asked her a little bit and I had horse. When I asked her, she just took off. I got clear turning for home. I think she was ready. The trainer brought her ready. When I asked her, she took off. She's a nice filly. She won first time out by 11 lengths, easy. We saw better fillies today, and she can do it. She has some talent and [trainer Kiaran McLaughlin] does a great job with them."

Cavorting’s performance looks even better because the final time of the Adirondack was three-tenths of a second faster than I Spent It’s 1:16.79 finish in the Saratoga Special.


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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. 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’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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