08/28/2016 7:37PM

Fair Point rallies in stretch en route to Smart N Fancy win

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Barbara D. Livingston
Fair Point paid $12.20 to win in the Smart N Fancy Stakes on Sunday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The inside may be the shortest way home, but the outside was the clearest path to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s $100,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga.

Jose Ortiz rallied Fair Point four-wide in the stretch and was able to outkick an inside-rallying Miss Ella to win the Smart N Fancy by a head.

It was 1 1/4 lengths back to the pace-setting Animal Appeal, who was followed, in order, by Sanctifica, Means Well and Pretty Perfection.

Fair Point and Miss Ella, under Joel Rosario, were basically together down the backside as Animal Appeal, the 4-5 favorite, set rapid fractions of 21.61 seconds for a quarter and 44.04 for the opening half-mile while being chased by Sanctifica and Pretty Perfection.

Turning for home, Ortiz swung Fair Point outside and Rosario was going to do the same, but then altered course and went inside. Though Miss Ella passed Animal Appeal along the inside in deep stretch, Fair Point outkicked her to gain the victory.

“I went out, he went in and I think maybe that made the difference because maybe he had to wait a little longer than I did,” Ortiz said. “I had a clear run.”

Fair Point, a 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, owned by Stuart Janney III and trained by Shug McGaughey, covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.18 and returned $12.20 to win.

The win was the third on the card for Jose Ortiz, who moved two ahead of his brother, Irad Ortiz Jr., who was shut out on Sunday.

Prior to Sunday, Fair Point had a win and a second in two turf starts at Belmont going seven furlongs.

“When we left Belmont Jose said I’d love to ride this filly going 5 1/2 on the turf, where I can take her back and slingshot her, just the way he rode her today,” McGaughey said.

It was a bit of a frustrating defeat for the connections of Miss Ella, who looked poised to win her first turf stakes.

Trainer Graham Motion said Rosario told him “he had to wait a little bit, but she went when he asked her to. He just said he couldn’t believe that horse closed.”

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