08/27/2017 6:45PM

Ginger N Rye notches first stakes win in Smart N Fancy

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Michael Amoruso
Ginger N Rye drew clear to a 1 3/4-length victory in Sunday's Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Outside or inside, it just doesn’t matter to Ginger N Rye, not as sharp as she’s been since coming to Saratoga earlier this summer.

On July 23, Ginger N Rye came around horses, rallying down the center of the course to defeat a strong field of high-priced optional claiming and allowance foes. On Sunday, Ginger N Rye slipped along the rail under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. to capture the $100,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes by a comfortable 1 3/4 lengths over a late-running Miss Ella.

Both of Ginger N Rye’s local wins have come since trainer Horacio De Paz turned her back to 5 1/2 furlongs following a steady diet of longer races, the majority of which came in Maryland. In the Smart N Fancy, Santana allowed Ginger N Rye to settle in mid-pack off a fast pace set by Paquita Coqueta and pressed by Chanteline. Pretty Perfection gained control inside the early leaders on the final bend, but Ginger N Rye was already beginning to roll along the rail at that point, readily taking command near midstretch before drawing away with complete authority for her first career stakes win.

Miss Ella had only one horse beaten while saving ground into the stretch, squeezed inside a narrow opening rallying through the furlong grounds, and continued willingly to be second-best while never threatening the winner. Wheatfield got shuffled back a bit during the early going before putting in a belated bid of her to finish a length farther back in third.

Fair Point, the tepid 3-1 favorite in a full field of one dozen filly and mare turf sprinters, finished sixth while never a serious factor.

Ginger N Rye is a 5-year-old homebred daughter of More Than Ready owned by Sagamore Farm. She completed the distance over a firm course in 1:00.75 and returned $8.80. The 

“We got a great trip, that’s the trip I wanted,” said Santana. “I knew the speed was going to be fast today, so I tried to just sit with her and make one run. And turning for home, man she took off. She was really rolling at the end. She classed out.”