SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Michael Dubb, David Simon, Bethlehem Stables, and Bruce Irom’s Call Paul rang strongly from start to finish while wiring the rain-shortened field of four in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes presented by Coors Light.
Breaking from post 2 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Call Paul was soon bumped twice after the rail horse, Meade, broke outward and sent him into Spinoff as part of a domino effect. Quickly collecting himself, he gained command down the backside and set initial splits of :22.48 and :45.98 while receiving pressure to his outside from Tight Ten. Continuing to race inside of that rival through the far turn, Call Paul had to dig in gamely and overcome Tight Ten lugging in against him to draw off in the final 1/16 to win by a length in a final time of 1:16.55 for the 6 1/2-furlong main track event.
“He responded very well when I asked him,” said Ortiz, Jr. “When (Stage Left) scratched, we had to change our plans a little and be closer than we envisioned. Initially, we wanted to sit just off the speed, but with the scratch, when we broke, we got out there and got the lead. There wasn’t too much bumping in the late stretch. I don’t think it affected him. When I asked him, he took off.”
The three competitors were stretched out behind the winner. Tight Ten crossed in second ahead of Spinoff and Meade. The precipitation earlier in the morning caused Stage Truebadour to join Stage Left on the scratch list.
Call Paul’s win was his second straight following a debut victory at Delaware Park on July 3 for trainer Jason Servis. The 2-year-old son of Friesan Fire has earned $135,000 since Dubb purchased him for $210,000 back in May.
“He’s a nice colt,” Servis said. “I’ve been breezing him behind horses and covering him up, and we were thinking if he got stuck down inside and we were laying second or third, not bad. He’s got a great mind. This horse acts like he’ll run further. I did the same thing with Firenze Fire; broke his maiden, shipped him the day before, and he won the (Grade 3) Sanford (Stakes). I’ll probably leave him here, and we’re thinking maybe the (Grade 1) Champagne.”
Call Paul returned $3.70 to win and $2.40 to place, while Tight Ten paid $2.30 to place. There was no show betting.