07/19/2013 5:51PM

Saratoga: Bahnah, Brazen Persuasion dead-heat in Schuylerville

Barbara D. Livingston
Bahnah (left) and Brazen Persuasion hit the finish line together in the Schuylerville.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Reaching for the wire in the steamy Saratoga stretch of Friday’s Grade 3 Schuylerville, the large Brazen Persuasion and the diminutive Bahnah were definitely tiring but giving everything they had left to give.

As they hit the wire with their fillies’ heads bobbing up and down Rosie Napravnik, the rider of Brazen Persuasion, looked over at Corey Lanerie, the rider of Bahnah and said, “You got it.”

Napravnik was right and wrong.

When the numbers were posted on the tote-board, both Napravnik and Lanerie got it as Brazen Persuasion and Bahnah dead-heated for win in the $150,000 Schuylerville on a hot opening day at Saratoga.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

For Brazen Persuasion ($2.80), a daughter of Indian Charlie, the win was the second from three career starts. Bahnah ($2.40), a daughter of Elusive Quality, is now 2 for 2.

Brazen Persuasion broke on top and was soon joined by Yes Liz - part of a Stonestreet Stable-owned and Todd Pletcher-trained entry - and the two were together through a quarter in 21.75 seconds.

Around the far turn, Bahnah made it three abreast after a half-mile in 44.68 seconds.

In upper stretch, Yes Liz couldn’t keep up while Brazen Persuasion, who was on the inside, was trying to spurt clear. After Lanerie went back to a hand ride when his filly was not responding from the whip, Bahnah came back at Brazen Persuasion, and it was just a matter of who was going to get the bob. They both did, covering six furlongs in 1:12.12. They were 1 1/4 lengths clear of Elena Strikes, the other half of the Stonestreet-Pletcher entry. Yes Liz, Silver Valley, True Blue Nation and Jonesin for Jerry completed the order of finish.

“She broke so well and was going along so easy,” Napravnik said of her making the early lead. “I tried to wait as long as I could, I knew I was outrunning [Yes Liz] around the turn. I’ll tell you what, this little thing that hit the wire with her, she’s half the size of any of them. They both ran super hard. My filly is really talented, and she ran really well.”

Lanerie, who recorded his first Saratoga win, turned for home thinking he was going to get by the leaders. But then filly started to show signs of fatigue.

“At the three-sixteenths pole I got a little worried that I wasn’t going to get by them. My mare’s head came up and she was starting to wear on me a little bit,” Lanerie said. “She kept fighting. I thought I got in front of her for two jumps, and then she came right back.”

Steve Asmussen, who trains Brazen Persuasion for Darren and Marilyn Pollitt, recorded his third Schuylerville victory.

“It was no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, and then you’re standing there [waiting],” Asmussen said. “I did think she got beat on the wire watching the replay. They throw the number up 4-5 and you think she wins it, then they flash the dead heat. We’ll take all of it.”

Bret Calhoun, who trains Bahnah for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, recorded his first-ever win at Saratoga.

“It was a very game effort by both of them - great race,” Calhoun said. “I can’t say enough about both of those two horses.”