07/28/2013 6:33PM

Saratoga: Forty Tales rallies to win Amsterdam Stakes

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Tom Keyser
Forty Tales and jockey Joel Rosario win the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes by three-quarters of a length Sunday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Forty Tales took advantage of a fast pace and Mentor Cane’s failure to corner properly into the stretch, rallying down the center of the strip to register a three-quarter-length victory over Mico Margarita in Sunday’s $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.

Salutos Amigos finished another length back in third, while the hard-luck Mentor’s Cane was fourth after losing considerable ground  into the stretch.
Forty Tales registered his third straight graded stakes win in the Grade 2 Amsterdam for owner Perretti Racing Stable Inc. and trainer Todd Pletcher, who was at Monmouth Park on Sunday for the Haskell. The 3-year-old son of Tale of the Cat had registered similar come-from-beyond victories in his previous two starts, the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Woody Stephens last month at Belmont Park.  

Mico Margarita broke alertly and was first to show in front but quickly yielded the lead to Mentor Cane, who rushed up after breaking a step slowly from post No. 1.

Mentor Cane set a rapid pace, posting splits of 21.77 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.49 for a half-mile while racing well off the rail. He then continued to bear out very badly around the turn, yielding the lead to Mico Margarita, whose rider, Ricardo Santana Jr., wisely angled him inside midway down the backstretch.

Forty Tales, as expected, lagged at the rear of the field to the stretch before swinging wide while turning for home and finishing full of run to wear down Mico Margarita near the wire.

Forty Tales completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.64 over a fast track and paid $7.30 as the tepid favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds.

“I was a little concerned; I didn’t think they were going as fast as the fractions indicated,” Pletcher said from New Jersey. “I thought we had a pretty good chance to get there once they turned for home. I was just hoping he could keep finding a little more. I guess he’s found his niche.”

Pletcher said the Grade 1 King’s Bishop on Travers Day next month would be the goal for Forty Tales.

Pletcher and winning rider Joel Rosario also combined to win Sunday’s opener, the $100,000 Sir Cat Stakes, with Winning Cause ($9.20), who rallied from next to last to wear down the pacesetting Joha by three-quarters of a length. One More Cat finished third in the one-mile overnight stakes for 3-year-olds on turf.

– additional reporting by David Grening