08/17/2011 6:40PM

Saratoga: Bridgetown bounds home a winner in Troy Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Bridgetown, with John Velzquez riding, wins the Troy.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though he was riding the heavily favored Bridgetown, jockey John Velazquez had some concerns going into Wednesday's $75,000 Troy Stakes at Saratoga.

The 5 1/2 furlongs of the race was a sixteenth of a mile further than Bridgetown had run his last four starts, and heavy rains early in the week made for a yielding turf course.

When it was over, Velazquez fretted for nothing as and the course in fine fashion, rolling to a 6 3/4-length victory in the Troy. Pashito the Che finished second by one-half length over Awakino Cat, the two-time defending Troy winner who had his head turned and who leapt at the start, spotting the field about five lengths.

For Bridgetown, owned by Eugene Melnyk and trained by Todd Pletcher, the win was the seventh from 14 career starts and his third from as many tries at Saratoga. It was also his fifth stakes triumph.

Bridgetown, who is ordinarily in the thick of things from the outset, rated in third position early as Wildcat Frankie set the pace chased by Pashito the Che. Bridgetown moved into second after a quarter mile was run in 22.26 seconds and drew on even terms with Wildcat Frankie by the quarter pole.

With just a little nudge of Velazquez's reins, Bridgetown opened up in upper stretch and bounded home an easy winner. Bridgetown, a son of Speightstown, covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.13 and returned $3.60.

"I was a little concerned about the extra half-furlong and the cut of the ground obviously with all the rain we had," Velazquez said. "I know he had a little trouble before with soft ground, and he ran much better than I thought he would. We like it when they surprise us this way."