05/19/2012 6:20PM

Belmont: Saginaw sails in Affirmed Success

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Saginaw, with David Cohen riding, wins the Affirmed Success.

It took Simon & Garfunkel four days to hitchhike from Saginaw, but Saginaw the horse needed a lot less time to win Saturday's inaugural running of the $100,000 Affirmed Success Stakes.

Running over a glib main track that continues to play about as fast as the Bonneville Salt Flats, Saginaw ($3.50) stalked pacesetter Uncle T Seven down the backstretch, and took a short lead after a half-mile in 45 seconds flat. He was under a drive to go clear into the stretch after six furlongs in 1:08.61 seconds and cruised home by daylight after seven furlongs in 1:21.59.

Uncle T Seven held second, 5 3/4 lengths ahead of Mine Over Matter in third, followed by Wee Freudian, Spa City Fever, and Law Enforcement.

Saginaw is now 5 for 5 since adding blinkers, which first came on when Richard Dutrow Jr. claimed him for $35,000 in the dead of winter, and ran him back for $30,000 a few weeks later. He won by better than 13 lengths that day, and was promptly claimed again by David Jacobson, who has since won four races with the 6-year-old gelding, all with David Cohen in the saddle.

"Even though he is an older horse, he seems to be growing up mentally," said Cohen. "Having a quicker split may have helped him relax - they weren't going 24. Today we had 22 and four, and I think that probably helped out more than anything."

Saginaw improved to 11 for 27 overall. His current win streak has taken place over three different tracks and at four distances, including an overnight stake at 1 1/16 miles opening weekend. "I love cutbacks, and this will make him better the next time he goes long" said Jacobson. "Whatever [New York-bred race] is next, you're going to see him, if he comes out of this race well. He just did it so easily."

Jacobson said Dutrow, trainer of Uncle T Seven, "is one of the best, and to be head and head with one of his horses makes you feel nervous, but to put him away like that makes you feel good."