Say the Phrase, a Grade 1 winner of the Northern Dancer Stakes for coach Gail Cox at Woodbine final 12 months, picked up his first victory since being transferred to California-based Phil D’Amato in Saturday’s Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland racecourse in Lexington, Ky.
Ridden by Luis Saez, the 6-year-old son of Extra Than Prepared defeated one other 6-year-old turf veteran, Channel Cat, by 1 1/2 lengths whereas overlaying 1 1/2 miles in 2:28.26 on a course labeled “good.” Artful Daddy completed a neck again in third, with Fantasioso fourth within the subject of eight older horses.
Say the Phrase, who on Thursday was named champion turf male in Canada’s Sovereign Awards, paid $7.20 as second wagering selection behind 2-1 favourite Tide of the Sea.
Say the Phrase raced in mid-pack within the early going as Tide of the Sea set the tempo. He made a large transfer working down the backstretch, reaching competition on the quarter pole, then drawing off late for the victory.
Bred by Sam-Son Farm, Say the Phrase joined D’Amato’s secure after Mark Martinez purchased into the horse from Sam-Son late final 12 months within the title of his Agave Racing Secure. He ran 3 times for D’Amato previous to the Elkhorn, ending third within the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar, eleventh within the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park and second to United within the G3 San Luis Rey at Santa Anita.
The win was the sixth for Say the Phrase in 29 profession begins. He was produced from the Big’s Causeway mare Danceforthecause.
Put up-race quotes:
Luis Saez (successful rider of Say the Phrase): “He simply discovered a great place (on the backstretch), and he picked up the bridle. I did not need to let him go too early, so I attempted to loosen up him. After we got here into the straight (on the run to the end), he was fairly good. He took it away, and he received the race.”
Josh Flores (assistant to successful coach Phil D’Amato, who relies at Santa Anita in California): “The one directions I gave to Luis was simply get him to settle early. For a second we have been slightly involved when he picked up the bridle on his personal. Luis did an amazing job to get him to settle. Down the lane, the horse actually dug in and put up struggle.”
Corey Lanerie (rider of runner-up Channel Cat): “We have been forwardly positioned proper behind the favourite (Tide of the Sea). The eventual winner was proper on my hip and I simply couldn’t maintain him off. My horse ran nice. Going a mile and a half, the tempo might need been slightly faster than I believed we’d be going, however he dealt with it the entire manner.”
Jack Sisterson (coach of Channel Cat): “He ran an excellent race. We have been optimistic stepping into to this race. We backed off since his final race (fifth in Jan. 23 William L. McKnight-G3 at Gulfstream Park). We determined to level to the Elkhorn right here at Keeneland – that is residence for him. If horses might speak, he was telling us he was going to run an enormous race. It was good to see him run again to the shape he had when he was skilled by Todd Pletcher.”
On Channel Cat’s subsequent race: “We’d take a look at one thing just like the Manhattan (G1 at Belmont Park June 5) or the United Nations (G1 at Monmouth Park July 17). I believe he’s higher than a Grade 3 horse.”
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