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Saratoga: Poseidon's Warrior pulls off 36-1 upset in Vanderbilt
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Based in the Mid-Atlantic region, trainer Butch Reid certainly makes his presence felt when he comes to New York.
Reid picked up his sixth career graded stakes victory - and third in New York - when Poseidon’s Warrior outgamed Justin Phillip to the wire to win Sunday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga. He was the second-longest shot in the eight-horse field, returning $74.50.
It was the first Grade 1 victory for the 56-year-old Reid, who began training in 1983.
Despite drifting out in the stretch, Poseidon’s Warrior, under Irad Ortiz Jr., finished a neck in front of Justin Phillip, who was second by a neck over the pacesetting Emcee.
Shackleford, the 2011 Preakness winner and 6-5 Vanderbilt favorite, finished last in his first try at six furlongs. His connections blamed the performance on the muddy Saratoga track.
Two years ago, Reid won the Grade 2 Withers at Aqueduct with Afleet Again, who was 24-1. The next year, Afleet Again won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs at 41-1.
In 1995, Reid won the Grade 3 Roseben Handicap at Belmont with Evil Bear, who in 1994 finished second here to American Chance in the Grade 1 Forego, finishing ahead of that year’s Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin.
Reid called the Vanderbilt victory “a thrill of a lifetime” because “this is a place that we’ve always tried to come, haven’t always had all the quality horses to get up here and get it done.”
Poseidon’s Warrior was winless in two starts this year, but Reid felt the horse got enough out of a 2 3/4-length loss in the Mr. Prospector at Monmouth on July 8 to take a shot in here.
“The timing was perfect. We decided to take a chance,” said Reid, who trains Poseidon’s Warrior for Tom McGrath’s Swilcan Stables.
Breaking from post 5, Ortiz hustled Poseidon’s Warrior out of the gate and found himself chasing the pace of Emcee, who ran a quarter in 21.99 seconds and a half-mile in 44.61 while being prompted by Rothko.
Emcee, under Alan Garcia, kept plugging away along the rail while Rothko faded inside the eighth pole. Meanwhile, Ortiz was persevering on Poseidon’s Warrior, who began to drift out in the stretch. That turned out to be a good thing as he was getting alongside Justin Phillip, who was rallying wide under Ramon Dominguez but couldn’t catch Poseidon’s Warrior.
Poseidon’s Warrior, a 4-year-old son of 2004 Vanderbilt winner Speightstown, covered six furlongs in 1:09.40.
“I broke running and got a good position on the outside,” said Ortiz, who added this Grade 1 to his victory aboard Questing in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. “There were two horses fighting on the lead. I just waited and was patient. When I turned for home, I asked my horse and he had something [left].”
Conversely, Shackleford had nothing to offer from the outset. He broke a step slow from the rail, chased the pace along inside from fourth, and retreated to last.
Jockey John Velazquez said he knew “two jumps” into the race, Shackleford wasn’t going to run well because he wasn’t showing his usual aggressiveness.
Watching from the stands, trainer Dale Romans knew it as well.
“When he wasn’t dragging Johnny up the backside I thought he wasn’t comfortable,” Romans said. “It’s not a soundness issue with him. I just think that he is surface sensitive. He’s a little bit finicky on what he runs on.”
Romans said provided there is no physical issue with Shackleford he will still be pointed to the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1.
Joel Rosario has to make terrible moves like with hamazing destiny in the Vanderbilt and moving horses way too soon!! I think he's so overrated right now but maybe he'll change my opinion on him as he goes along. I have a mixed reaction to him going to New York. I think he's better out in Southern California and thought of him as so good. Never thought of him as so great. Noticed he's been quiet this week. Hasn't won nothing really since Thursday. Limited mounts since firing Ebanks. He had it easy here in southern California. He had to make moves where there were short fields and were like make the moves at the right time. If he sticks around maybe he'll have more mounts by Gulfstream park. Since he's made questionable moves he seems kind of intimidated. Didn't feel that way even when he was a rookie here. Thing with him is that he's showing life right now. But IMO it's because he's on the best horse. He's trying hard to make it here and really is trying to finish in the top 3 so badly to prove himself but I don't think his talent isn't anywhere near this ones. For the limited of mounts as of late, well because of the switch of agents. Will try to find more connections/barns. But if you noticed in some of the races, connections that rosario rides for haven't really used him since he fired his agent. Ebanks did nothing wrong and he'd have mount after mount with him and since firing his agent has had few mounts and very few wins. Though he's showing life right now, If you look at the mounts, he don't get the top 3 mounts. Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez and Javier Castallano. Actually he don't even get 4th choice which goes to Jose Lezcano. He has to fight for 5th choice with either Junior Alvarado, Rosie Napravnik or Julien Leparoux. So he has heavy competition right now. I guess you can say if you were riding evenly with Rafael Bejarano in Southern California then you can make it anywhere.
This horse has always shown promise and the wet track let him show it off. now 2 for 2 on wet surfaces, I believe.
poseidon greek mythology god of the seas (muddy tracks ?) causer of heart shaking events ($74.50) tamer of horses (shackleford and company).they have a sence of hummor at the spa.
Folks its just another day at the graveyard of honesty or the playard of thieves, you pick,they try to blame it on the track on the mudd on the altitude etc,but the fact is the fix a lot of races up there and they do it every year,im not saying this gr1 was fixed,but lets face it weve all seen some pretty obvious fixes,like the race they brought in a 70/1 ridden by a lezcano over a 44/1 ridden by c montalvo every year they do the same thing with 2 jocks that have not won a race at the meet,also how interesting that the 2 winning tickets on that 470 000 pick 6 both came from overseas through us hubs,one from venezuela the other i heard was from panama.just interesting that millions more tickets are played right here in the usa yet both tickets are sold in latin america,of course most jockeys at saratoga if not 99% of them are from latin america.
I've been going to the Spa for 40 years and I've never seen a "horse for course" track play any stronger than this one. Before the form started publishing horses records at the track, I maintained a list of all the winners at Saratoga from previous years. It was a gold mine. And, it works conversely.....those horses that run poorly at the Spa, continue to do so. Romans is right in this case. I threw Shackleford out because the worst race of his life was run in last year's Travers....he hates the Spa.
Dale 'Cuppy' Romans,with another 'surface sensitive' situation , missed a golden opportunity to referto the Spa mud as "SUCTION-CUPPY".
End all of all arguments. The race was intended as a 6F workout with the CHANCES of adding a 6F Gr. 1 under his belt. When he was bogged down, there was obviously no instruction to ask him for much as Johnnie V never went to the whip (anyone that has any idea would have seen that). There was no need to risk the horse come the final turn. Dont dog the trainer and certainly dont think the horse is a wash. 6F is not his forte and he does not like an off track. There are not many horses that can hang with this one at 8 furlongs. So......relaaaaaaaax. Hey, folks just a tip...... youre going to get good odds on Shackleford next out because of this race. You might want to take advantage. Just sayin.
Romans get Castanon - Back!!! Kudos to the Winner.
From the PHA to the SPA! Butchie!
I hate to complain about any thing free, but can the drf please fire or reassign the guy who sets up the free PP for race of the day. People make mistakes, but it just takes seconds to check your work! After your done programing, simply click on it to see if the race you intended comes up...just takes seconds. The Waya is race 8, but what comes up is race 6. Again its free, but it has happened a couple time recently and I don't even check it unless its a stakes race. Just check your work!