08/26/2016 8:02PM

Stretch-out no problem for Super Surprise in Fleet Indian

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Barbara D. Livingston
Super Surprise draws off to a four-length victory in the Fleet Indian Stakes Friday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The 1 1/8-mile distance of the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes was new territory for all eight of the New York-bred 3-year-old fillies in the field. But Super Surprise, the 4-5 favorite, was especially up against it on Friday at Saratoga as she had only raced once in the preceding nine months, and that was a six-furlong allowance victory on July 24.

But when the field began to bunch up in upper stretch and jockey John Velazquez got her to the outside, it was clear Super Surprise was up to the task and she ran by the leaders en route to a four-length victory. The win was the fourth on the day for trainer Todd Pletcher and Velazquez, who had previously teamed up to win the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes, the $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes, and a maiden race.

Super Surprise, owned by Mike Repole, had made three of her four starts last year at age 2 in New York-bred company and in her final start of the year had closed from well back to score her first career win in the one-mile Maid of the Mist Stakes in October at Belmont Park.

"Before the meet Mike and I spoke, with this being the plan," Pletcher said. "We were hoping the allowance race was going to be seven furlongs, and that it would get us here, but it was six furlongs."

Pletcher said he also missed a planned breeze with Super Surprise because of wet weather.

"My impression has always been the longer the better with her," Pletcher said. "She showed that in the Maid of the Mist. I was just hoping I'd done enough with her."

Super Surprise paid $3.90 to win. She was timed in 1:51.67. Her late run received a good setup as Roman Ceres laid down lively early fractions of 23.25, 47.70, and 1:12.05.

Super Surprise's victory was not without a bit of suspense as she did not appear to immediately respond to Velazquez's urgng on the far turn.

"Johnny said he was a little worried on the turn but that she grabbed him at the quarter pole," Pletcher said.

Riot Worthy, who raced three wide on the far turn and four wide into the stretch, continued with determination to be second by a nose over Highway Star. It was another half-length back to Mecke's Madelyn in fourth.

Highway Star moved up to engage Roman Ceres for the lead on the far turn. Highway Star got to the front in midstretch but the advantage was short-lived as Super Surprise rolled to the front.

Pletcher was not sure where he would next run Super Surprise.

"We'll see what is available in the New York-bred program," he said, "but it wouldn't surprise me if she can compete against open company as well.