SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – David Baxter’s Chattel made it two in a row on Friday, taking command at the top of the stretch before sweeping off to a resounding upset score in the $100,000 Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga.
Dismissed by bettors at odds of 22-1, Chattel broke well under Kendrick Carmouche and settled in mid-pack while Gin and Tins and the 5/2 favorite Sir Truebadour battled up front through opening splits of :21.84 and :45.26. Put to a drive towards the end of the far turn, Chattel soon found an opening along the rail as the field straightened for home and fired through it, then tipped out to split the pace-setters. Under continued urging, Chattel steadily drew away from the eight other juveniles in the stretch drive, then was geared down late while crossing with a 3 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:03.51 for the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint.
“We wanted to sit closer to the pace,” Carmouche said. “We broke good. I kind of got squeezed, but (Yes and Yes) kind of wanted his position inside, so I just slowly eased him back. Around the 1/2-mile pole, I saw everything developing in front of me. Man, he was on the bit. I said, ‘I can win the race from here.’ I got through at the top of the lane, and when I got through, he really accelerated throughout the stretch.”
Though too far off of the winner’s heels, Swamp Rat made a solid closing move to take second by a length after running near the rear of the field for much of the race. Good Good followed with a similar closing kick to nose out third over a fading Gins and Tins, while Carter Cat edged stablemate Sir Truebadour. Chase Greatness, Yes and Yes, and Stayonthegrind completed the order of finish. The Wesley Ward-trained trio of Shang Shang, Stillwater Cove, and Chelsea Cloisters were all scratched, while Lexitonian and Backtohisroots were Main Track Only entries.
Chattel’s win was his second in 5 career starts and improved his overall record to 5-2-1-2, which includes attempts at Belmont Park, Delaware Park, and Laurel Park. The 2-year-old son of Giant Oak has now earned $110,540 for trainer Brandon McFarlane.
“He had a ton of horse,” McFarlane said. “I thought he was actually going to be closer, he got a little bit further back than I thought, because he’s real quick out of the gate. I knew he could pass because I schooled him last week behind two horses, taking dirt, and then he tipped out and just went by easy, so I knew he could pass.”
Chattel returned $47 to win, $15.80 to place, and $7.80 to show. Swamp Rat brought back $5.70 to place and $4.10 to show, while Good Good paid $5.50 to show.