07/31/2013 3:42PM

Saratoga: Hyper finds John's Call distance to his liking

Barbara D. Livingston
Hyper wins the 1 5/8-mile John's Call under Javier Castellano on Wednesday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Hyper, who had never raced beyond a mile and one-quarter in 19 previous starts, found the mile and five furlongs of Wednesday’s $100,000 John’s Call Stakes at Saratoga well within his range, rallying to an easy 1 3/4-length victory over Side Road in the restricted overnight stakes.

Hyper, who came within a length of become a graded stakes winner when he rallied wide to finish second in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup at a mile and three-sixteenths in his previous start, benefitted from a perfectly orchestrated ride by Javier Castellano in the John’s Call. Rating just off the early pace of longshot Alburj for over a mile, Hyper swung three wide launching his bid on the final turn, readily overtook Side Road once entering the stretch, quickly drew clear, and was not seriously threatened thereafter.

Quick Casablanca did well to finish third, two lengths behind Side Road, after being shuffled back near the rear of the pack during the early running.

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

Hyper, a 6-year-old son of Victory Gallop, is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Chad Brown. He paid $5.40 after completing 13 furlongs over a firm course in 2:39.60.

“We took a shot running him a mile and five-eighths," said Brown. "It was uncharted territory for him, but he seemed to be finishing his races well and trains like a horse who has a lot of stamina. Most importantly, he likes firm ground. So when we had the opportunity to run on a firm turf course today, you take what you can get and he ran real well.”

Brown said anywhere from a mile and three-sixteenths all the way up to a mile and five furlongs is within his scope as long as the turf is firm.

“We’ve always liked him and he seems to have gotten better as he’s gotten older,” said Brown.