06/30/2013 4:57PM

Belmont Park: Saratoga Snacks fires fresh in Shy Groom


Showing little sign of rust in his first start of the year, Saratoga Snacks stalked the early pace, rallied in earnest on the outside in the stretch, and edged clear of a rail-skimming Mine Over Matter in the final furlong to win Sunday’s $100,000 Shy Groom overnight stakes by just over a length at Belmont Park.

With Joel Rosario aboard for his first start since winning the Alex M. Robb Stakes on Dec. 26, Saratoga Snacks was sent through to press B Shanny through fractions of 23.25 and 46.17 seconds. He was under a mild drive to win the seven-furlong race in 1:23.18 over a fast main track.

“It was a perfect trip,” Rosario said. “I knew [B Shanny] had a little bit of speed, and I wanted to sit off him a little bit. I knew we might go a little bit too quick, but he got the job done. He’s a good-looking horse and a brilliant mover, so let’s see how far he can go.”

Mine Over Matter finished gamely on the rail to be clearly second-best over B Shanny, who held third over Fiddlers Afleet and Be Bullish.

Saratoga Snacks ($3.70), a 4-year-old New York-bred ridgling by Tale of the Cat, improved to 6-2-0 from eight lifetime starts for Bill Parcells’s August Dawn Farm.

“I was a little worried at the quarter pole,” trainer Gary Sciacca said. “They ran three-quarters in [1:10], but they came home. He was running – he did good. We’ll sit down and see where we go from here.”

Flanking the Shy Groom were divisions of the New York Stallion Series for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on the Widener turf.

The Cupecoy’s Joy for fillies was captured by Frosty Bay ($18.80), who drifted out late under Javier Castellano but prevailed over the favored Image of Noon and Fantastic Eyes to notch her third lifetime win.

Trained by Dominick Schettino, Frosty Bay ran the seven-eighths in 1:22.61 over a firm course.

“She’s really found a home on the grass,” Schettino said. “Her mother [Baymont] was strictly a turf horse, too.”

In the Spectacular Bid division, the favored West Hills Giant ($7.30) took over in the stretch and pulled away with Edgar Prado aboard to garner his first victory since the rich New York Breeders’ Futurity last fall.

Racing with blinkers off after stumbling badly at the start of the Mike Lee on June 1, West Hills Giant ran seven furlongs in 1:21.71 and improved his record to 3-1-1 from nine starts for trainer John Terranova.

Captain Gaughen took second in a three-way photo over Huge Asset and Sunbio.