08/09/2017 6:58PM

Blind Ambition shows his turf talent in Quick Call Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Blind Ambition (outside) is now 2-for-2 on turf with a victory in Wednesday's Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Like mother, like son.

Blind Ambition, the 3-year-old son of the multiple turf sprint stakes-winning mare Starfish Bay, made a successful turf sprint stakes debut Wednesday at Saratoga, chasing and finally catching Expedited Vision to win the $100,000 Quick Call Stakes by a half-length. Expedited Vision was second by six lengths over The Money Monster, who was followed, in order, by Mongo Nation, Indy Hill and Malraux.

The win was the third in six races for Blind Ambition, a son of Tapit owned by Gainesway Stable which purchased Blind Ambition for $400,000 at the Fasig Tipton 2-year-old-in-training sale at Timonium last year. Blind Ambition is now 2-for-2 on turf with his previous win coming around two turns at Gulfstream Park.

Todd Pletcher trains Blind Ambition. He also trained Starfish Bay, who won four turf sprint stakes and still holds the Gulfstream Park turf course record for five furlongs (53.75), which she set in 2010.

“Starfish Bay was probably one of the fastest fillies we ever trained,” Pletcher said. “But like with any well-bred, good-looking colt, you try to see how they’re going to do on the dirt. He ran pretty well on the dirt, but when we put him on the turf he seemed to excel.”

Blind Ambition, under Javier Castellano, broke from the rail and was part of the second flight along with Malraux and Indy Hill about a length behind Expedited Vision, who set fractions of 22.42 seconds for the quarter and 44.76 for the half-mile.

Turning for home, Castellano tipped Blind Ambition outside and continued to chase Expedited Vision, who still maintained a length lead at the eighth pole. But Blind Ambition kept coming and caught Expedited Vision and Sheldon Russell about 20 yards from the wire to gain the victory.

Blind Ambition covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.51 and returned $4.80 as the 7-5 favorite.

“I thought for a moment the other horse snuck away and we had a lot to do, but he was able to catch up to him quickly and Javier took him in hand the last part,” Pletcher said. “Big effort.”

Castellano said the way Blind Ambition finished and galloped out past the wire leads him to believe the horse would prefer longer distances.

“I liked the way he finished, very impressed, I like the way he galloped out, I don’t think the best distance for him is sprinting,” Castellano said. “I think he’ll appreciate more distance.”