SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Gold Square LLC’s Aveenu Malcainu drove past What a Catch in the final furlong to win Friday’s $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes for 2-year-old New York-bred horses.
Stalking the leaders comfortably in third under jockey Luis Saez, Aveenu Malcainu watched as What a Catch chased Morning Breez through early splits of :22.36 and :45.72.
Exiting the far turn, Aveenu Malcainu and What a Catch caught and passed the leader along the outside, with the pair dueling momentarily before the Jeremiah Englehart trainee put away his foe, completing the 6 1/2-furlong main track event in 1:17.69.
“It was perfect; he broke pretty good and was right there,” Saez said. “When we came to the 3/8 (pole), I saw (What a Catch) was easy. I said, ‘He looks pretty nice,’ but I put pressure on my horse and we took off.”
A late charge from Inalienable Rights proved to be too much for the tiring What a Catch, who had to settle for third. Analyze the Odds, Mr. Pete, Morning Breez, Alien Invasion, and Smokin Platinum completed the order of finish.
It was the second win in as many attempts for Aveenu Malcainu. The son of Into Mischief previously broke his maiden on debut here at Saratoga on July 28.
“He’s been training very forward and you saw that,” Englehart said. “He put Luis in the race a little sooner than I wanted to see him, but then he made a sustained run. We’ll try and stretch him out a little more next time. Hopefully, he keeps progressing. (The owners) said they want to run him in the (Grade 1, $500,000) Champagne (on October 7 at Belmont Park). I just want to get him back to the stall.”
Aveenu Malcainu returned $6.70 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.10 to show. Inalienable Rights brought back $12 to place and $5.50 to show, while What a Catch paid $2.90 to show.