07/26/2006 11:00PM

Scat Daddy comes on late for victory in Sanford at Spa

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Scat Daddy (4) runs down Teuflesberg before the wire to win the Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga on Thursday.

Scat Daddy showed he has some guts to go along with his talent.

Seemingly beaten at the sixteenth pole, Scat Daddy somehow was able to run down the pacesetting Teuflesberg to win the Grade 2, $150,000 at Saratoga. It was 5 1/2 lengths back to War Wolf in third. Trip to the Bank and Bagger Vance completed the order of finish.

Based on his maiden win and the fact he was facing three maidens, Scat Daddy was sent off as a 3-10 favorite. Trainer Todd Pletcher, whose likeness on a bobblehead doll was given away to all paying customers, wanted Scat Daddy to be in the clear stalking the speed.

But Scat Daddy broke so well that he found himself between War Wolf and Trip to the Bank, as Teuflesberg, under Rafael Bejarano, got loose and set fractions of 22.19 and 45.77 seconds for the opening half-mile.

Entering the far turn, John Velazquez tried to take Scat Daddy back and go around Trip to the Bank, but Eibar Coa, the rider of Trip to the Bank, did his best to keep Scat Daddy hemmed in.

"Obviously, in a race like this you're the big favorite, you're a marked target," Pletcher said. "Everybody's going to ride their race against you."

Despite Scat Daddy getting dirt in his face, Velazquez was content to advance him along the inside. In upper stretch, Velazquez got Scat Daddy to the outside. Teuflesberg was still going strong on the front end, and appeared to be pulling away before Scat Daddy ran him down two jumps before the wire. Scat Daddy ($2.60), owned by James Scatuorchio and Pletcher, covered six furlongs in 1:11.18.

"The good news is he got an education trip," Pletcher said. "I didn't think he was getting there. It was impressive what he did the last 50 or 60 yards."

The loss was a heartbreaker for Jamie Sanders, the trainer and part-owner of Teuflesberg, who at 13-1 almost pulled the first major upset of the meet.

"We thought we had it there for a minute," Sanders said. "This horse ran a huge race. He was the underdog going in here, but we knew what kind of horse he was the whole time."