09/02/2013 2:18PM

Saratoga notes: Sweet Reason now worth a bundle

Barbara D. Livingston
Sweet Reason, with Alex Solis aboard, wins the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sunday to improve her record to 2 for 2.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jeff Treadway has been attending horse auctions for about five years in search of a good horse. He has found some he thought fit the bill, only to have them suffer from injury or infirmity and end their careers prematurely.

Treadway, a 51-year-old private investor, may have finally found his star in Sweet Reason, who splashed her way to a 5 3/4-length victory in Sunday’s $300,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, giving him and trainer Leah Gyarmati their first Grade 1 victory.

“We’ve gotten some nice horses but had a little bit of tough luck,” Treadway said Monday as he and his family were driving back to Brooklyn from Saratoga. “So far, so good with Sweet Reason. It’s a beautiful sport, and one of the great things about it is it can turn on a dime; a minute and 23 seconds, and you can feel like a new person.”

Officially, it took Sweet Reason 1:23.42 to win the Spinaway, her second win in as many starts. Sweet Reason, a daughter of Street Sense whom Treadway paid $185,000 for as a yearling, made an eye-catching middle move under Alex Solis to go from seventh to first from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole. Solis only smacked her once in the stretch.

Sweet Reason earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure for her performance.

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Treadway said he was offered $1 million for Sweet Reason following her 6 1/4-length victory in a 5 1/2-furlong, off-the-turf maiden race, where she rallied from 18 lengths back.

“When we turned that down, they said, ‘How much?’ ” Treadway said. “We didn’t go back to them.”

Gyarmati, a former jockey who has been training horses since 1999, was appreciative that Treadway wants to keep the filly.

“I know that it’s tempting when certain numbers get thrown around to the owner,” said Gyarmati, who got her 200th career win in the Spinaway. “I appreciate that he wanted to stick with it, and that’s a big thing.”

Treadway and Gyarmati both talked about having had several horses who appeared to have talent, only to get injured. Well Heeled, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song who cost $170,000 at auction, won her debut at Belmont last Dec. 1 but came out of the race with a chip. She later foundered.

In 2010, Mythical Truth, a son of Yes It’s True, wheeled at the start of a maiden race and finished third behind Justin Phillip. Mythical Truth suffered a torn suspensory.

“He’s had some nice horses; we just had some bad luck with a few of them,” Gyarmati said. “There’s been a few very talented horses that things happened to. I was hoping it was a matter of time where we had one nice horse and nothing went wrong. She’s a very classy filly.”

Gyarmati said Monday that Sweet Reason came out of the race “like she breezed a half-mile yesterday, easy. Even after the race, she was walking around like it was another workout. She’s really a special filly.”

Treadway said the plan is to point to the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park on Oct. 5 and then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

Verrazano may train up to Breeders' Cup

Though he said it’s not etched in stone, trainer Todd Pletcher is leaning toward training Verrazano up to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Verrazano has Grade 1 wins in the Wood Memorial and Haskell Invitational at 1 1/8 miles this year, but he most recently finished seventh as the favorite in the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24. Pletcher believes that in the Travers, Verrazano bounced, or regressed, from his career-best performance in the Haskell, which is why he is leery of running him in a race five weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup.

“Just want to avoid a situation like we just did, where he runs great five weeks out, then doesn’t run quite as good the next time,” Pletcher said. “I think he’s proven he can run well fresh, and we’ve had some luck training horses that way.”

◗ When Belmont Park opens Saturday, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will begin a seven-day suspension for careless riding. The suspension stems from his ride aboard Transparent in the Curlin Stakes on July 26, when his horse interfered with another horse at the quarter pole. Transparent went on to finish first but was disqualified and placed fifth. Ortiz, who will be represented by Steve Rushing beginning with the Belmont meet, will be eligible to ride Sept. 14.