09/03/2016 3:23PM

Inspector Lynley gets up in time to win Saranac Stakes

Michael Amoruso
Inspector Lynley and jockey Joel Rosario win the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes by a head Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.  – A victim of some tough luck in several of his most recent outings, Inspector Lynley got a beautiful trip under Joel Rosario and just got up late to nip Camelot Kitten by a head in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga.

The win was just the second from nine starts for Inspector Lynley, who gave trainer Shug McGaughey his eighth win of the meet and his third in a turf stakes.

“I remember a long time ago people said I couldn’t train them on the turf,” McGaughey said. “Then I got Lure. If they’re good enough, they’ll be fine anywhere.”

While it’s unlikely that Inspector Lynley will turn out to be another Lure – a two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner – McGaughey said he always felt this son of Lemon Drop Kid was meant to be a good horse.

Inspector Lynley had only one victory in his first eight starts but had some troubled trips in allowance races at Belmont and again in the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park when third to American Patriot.

“In the Kent, we were third, but maybe a little bit of an unlucky third,” McGaughey said. “That horse that won came back and ran well in the Secretariat, so I thought it legitimized his race. He came into it really well, had a good work on the turf here [Aug. 19]. I really had some confidence coming into it, but you always like to find out if they’re good enough.”

Breaking from the rail, Inspector Lynley raced an up-close fourth along the inside while Ray’s The Bar set a moderate pace of 23.87 seconds for the quarter, 48.46 for the half-mile, and 1:12.54 for six furlongs, prompted by Isotherm.

Camelot Kitten, who was near the back of the pack, advanced steadily down the backstretch and made a three-wide move around the turn under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Rosario retained his inside position but started to move out and swung four wide after Camelot Kitten cleared him. Once out in the clear, Inspector Lynley kicked in powerfully and outfinished Camelot Kitten to get the win.

Camelot Kitten, the 8-5 favorite after winning the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes, finished second by a length over Isotherm. Ray’s The Barn, Strike Midnight, and Call Provision completed the order of finish.

Inspector Lynley, owned by Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.68 over a firm inner turf course and returned $16 to win.

“He’s a stronger horse now,” Rosario said. “He’s putting it all together.”

McGaughey said he would point Inspector Lynley to the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince at Belmont on Oct. 8.