SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Archidust captured Wednesday’s inaugural $100,000 Mahony at Saratoga Race Course, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for sophomores named in honor of Patrick Mahony, the longtime senior vice president of mutuels at NYRA. Mahony, who spent more than 50 years in the racing industry, retired in 2016.
Breaking from post 6 as the 6/5 mutuel favorite under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, Archidust stalked from third position as 41/1 longshot Fully Loaded broke on top of the eight-horse field, and under pressure from Pyron, set swift fractions of :22.44 for the opening 1/4-mile, with the 1/2 in :44.68 on the firm Mellon turf.
Making a four-wide move at the 1/4 pole, Archidust met Fully Loaded and Pyron at the top of the stretch. In an all-out drive, he extended away to secure the victory by 3 lengths at the wire, completing the course in 1:00.80.
“It was a perfect trip,” said Castellano. “We broke good out of the gate and got a good position. I didn’t want to be too far back, because I think the horse likes to be in the race. I just tried to monitor the pace and let those two horses dictate the pace and tracked from outside. It was a perfect, dream trip for any jockey.”
Returning $4.40 for a $2 win wager, the 3-year-old Verrazano colt bred by Wolverton Mountain Farm boosted his career earnings to $162,800. He picked up his third consecutive victory and second on grass after making his successful turf debut in the My Frenchman on July 14 at Monmouth Park for conditioner Jorge Navarro and owners Ivan Rodriguez and Albert and Michelle Crawford.
Archidust gave Navarro his second stakes win of the Saratoga meet. He won the Grade 2 Amsterdam with Shancelot, for the same ownership group, on July 28.
“We trained him in South Florida for the turf, and in the mornings, he was training real well over the turf,” said Navarro. “We were just waiting for that race at Monmouth and he came through. This is what we were waiting for.
“He’s a different horse, and I’m not even knocking him on dirt, I think he’s just matured,” Navarro added. “He was just a big baby and he didn’t figure out what he was doing. Even the way he works now, he does everything so easy. I worked him on the turf at Palm Meadows and there were some quick workouts there. We were just waiting on turf for him and it paid off.”
Neverland Rock closed for second followed by Pyron, Elektronic, The Black Album, Fully Loaded, Uncle Benny – who stumbled at the start and failed to menace while making his seasonal debut – and Dunph. Mount Travers and main-track only Releasethethunder were scratched.