08/07/2013 4:12PM

Saratoga: West Hills Giant wins New York Stallion Series Stakes by DQ

Tom Keyser
West Hills Giant (No. 2) won the New York Stallion Series Stakes on Wednesday at Saratoga after Orino was disqualified.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – What appeared to be a courageous, game victory by Orino turned into a frustrating defeat after the lightly raced New York-bred was disqualified from first and placed second behind odds-on favorite West Hills Giant in Wednesday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes at Saratoga.

Orino led throughout, then turned back a bid from the 3-5 West Hills Giant to cross the finish line 1 1/4 lengths clear in the one-mile Stallion Stakes, run on the inner turf course.

But Orino drifted in slightly under right-handed pressure from jockey Luis Saez in late stretch, putting West Hills Giant in tight quarters and briefly up against the inside rail approaching the wire, giving the stewards little recourse but to reverse the original order of finish.

West Hills Giant recovered from his brush with the inside fence to hold off Captain Gaughen by a nose for the all-important second spot, allowing him to be awarded the victory via disqualification. Old Pal of Mine finished fourth after losing considerable ground into the stretch.

The victory was the fourth in 11 career starts for West Hills Giant, a 3-year-old son of Frost Giant who also captured a restricted stakes for New York-breds over the Belmont Park turf course June 30. He paid $3.20 to win Wednesday.

“It looked tight on the pan, but as soon as you saw the head-on, he did bounce off the rail, so I thought we had a good shot [of being placed first],” said John Terranova, who trains West Hills Giant. “It looked like he broke stride a little bit when he got bounced down near the inside.

“Our horse doesn’t really care for the inside, either. He’s always tried to make that wide move. It’s gotten him beat before when he’s tried to run up inside horses, which is why we put the blinkers on him earlier this year before the Gotham. But I really didn’t see a spot where he could have gotten out today.”

Edgar Prado, who rode West Hills Giant, said he felt he would have won the race if not impeded.

“My horse tried to get through the inside,” Prado said. “He was gaining slowly. I think he would have won the race if the contact didn’t happen.”

Bond Vigilante wins Claramount Stakes

Bond Vigilante rallied to a convincing 2 1/2-length victory over the 7-10 Marriedtothemusic earlier Wednesday in the $100,000 Claramount Stakes. Chapman finished third, followed by Longfor the City in the scratched-reduced field of 3-year-olds.

Bond Vigilante is trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables and was ridden by Jose Ortiz. He paid $7.60.

zeakman1398 More than 1 year ago
I lost the p4 having Orino singled in the last leg. he was my pick of the day. Everyone has their stories, but this one will live in infamy for me. I am completely biased, but by no means did I see them DQing my horse. Mostly, because Orino was winning whether he came over or not. He had started to inch away prior to the minor sway. I had a DQ cost me a superfecta in a Breeder's Cup race one year with a 22-1 on top (of 3 double digit horses), but it was the right call and I knew it. This one didn't cost me as much, but it was the wrong call, making it sting pretty badly.
Steve More than 1 year ago
Wow, tough beat if you had Orino at 12/1. Definitely put West Hills Giant in tight, but I don't think he would have beaten Orino with a clear path
Frank More than 1 year ago
Once again the misguided stogies got it wrong. No doubt that there was interference that occurred in deep stretch. There was no room for the inside horse. He should not have tried to come through a half open path. Because he forced his way in there they take down the winner who almost indistinguishably drifted in slightly in the heat of battle. If the 2nd place horse had been 15 to 1 instead of 3 to 5 do you think the cowards would have taken him down. No Way. They made many more chalk players happy because of their corrupt actions.
Mark Lewis More than 1 year ago
Bad call
Michael More than 1 year ago
The horse I bet finished 4th, but I thought it was a very weak DQ. He still got second, so the slight interference did not clearly cause him to drop a placing. That is the problem with NY racing, they seem to be all over the place with their DQ's or no DQ's. Jocks always say they "woulda" won if not for the interference, in this case not sure enough for a change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clearly the stewards made the right decision. You can see in the pan that Orino's rear caused West Hilss Giant to steady and then in the head on, Orino was driving him against the rail. Good to see the stewards get it right. Obviously the steward in the stretch tower saw something for the inquiry sign to go up immediately.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
No reason for that disqualification how lucky can you be to get 2nd by a whisker then put up at 3/5 Anyone who says you don't need luck watch that race and cash that skilled wager