09/01/2013 6:04PM

Saratoga: Sweet Reason rallies through slop to win Spinaway

Barbara D. Livingston
Sweet Reason and jockey Alex Solis win the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths Sunday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The betting public expressed its confidence in Sweet Reason early and often prior to Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. Sweet Reason, with a maiden victory in the slop Aug. 9, opened at 8-5 and floated up to be the 5-2 second choice in a race filled with strong pedigrees and high-profile connections.

Leah Gyarmati, the trainer of Sweet Reason, was sure of only one thing.

“I knew she’d come running at the end,” Gyarmati said. “I just didn’t know where that would put us.”

Actually, Sweet Reason’s strong middle move, which brought her to the front by the quarter pole under Alex Solis, put her in the Saratoga winner’s circle and perhaps at the top of the East Coast’s 2-year-old filly division with a 5 3/4-length romp in the Spinaway.

Stopchargingmaria finished second by 4 3/4 lengths over Dancing House. Sweet Whiskey, the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth and was followed by Designer Legs, Bahnah, True Blue Nation, and Art of the Game. Brazen Persuasion refused to break when the starting gate opened. There was a stewards’ inquiry, but she was deemed to be a starter by the stewards, having not been inhibited by anything or anybody in the gate.

For Gyarmati, a former jockey who began training in 1999, it was her 200th career victory and her first graded stakes win.

“Obviously, it’s very, very exciting,” Gyarmati, 48, said. “And it couldn’t happen for a better owner. Jeff Treadway has really had tons of patience. He’s done all the right things as an owner, done all the right things by all of his horses when things didn’t work out.”

Skeptics may point to the fact that Sweet Reason is a wet-track specialist. In her debut, a 5 1/2-furlong, off-the-turf race run in the slop, Sweet Reason rallied from 18 lengths back to win by 6 1/4 lengths.

The track came up sloppy again Sunday, and Sweet Reason floated over it, racing in seventh early on before making a four- to five-wide move from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole. Once in front turning for home, Solis smacked her once right-handed, and Sweet Reason took off and drew clear.

Sweet Reason, a daughter of Street Sense who brought $185,000 as a yearling last September at Keeneland, covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.42 and returned $7.

“She runs like she’s done this her whole life,” Solis said. “She’s so special.”

Solis said he believes Sweet Reason could be just as effective on a dry track, as evidenced by a workout before the race in which she made up six lengths on a team of Chad Brown-trained runners.

Gyarmati concurs but won’t mind seeing it rain the next time Sweet Reason runs, which could come in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park on Oct. 5.

“She trains very well on a dry track – I’m sort of anxious to see how that translates to what she does on it in the afternoon,” Gyarmati said. “That’s okay, this is good enough for me for now.”