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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Klaravich Stables’ Domestic Spending, a rare 7/1 Chad Brown trainee in a New York turf stakes, made everyone pay for not playing him in Saturday’s $500,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational.
Breaking from post 4 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Domestic Spending sat into a close stalking position while a rank Get Smokin tore off to an early lead, posting opening fractions of :23.41, :47.76, and 1:12.18.
Tipped out three-wide near the top of the stretch, Domestic Spending edged past the 4/5 favorite Decorated Invader and took the lead near the 1/16 pole, then held off a late push from a furiously-ralling Gufo to win by a head.
Domestic Spending’s final time for the 1 3/16-mile firm outer turf route was 1:52.52.
“We were looking to be a little more forwardly placed,” said Ortiz, Jr. “He broke more sharp than we thought and were very close to the pace, so I tried to relax my horse and he relaxed very well. I could feel (the pressure) a little bit in the stretch, but he responded really well, so I knew I had horse. He always finishes strong, so I kept riding. We got the jump and he held them until the end.”
Gufo’s last-to-first attempt fell just short of victory but gave him enough of a push to get second in a four-way photo finish. No Word headed Colonel Liam for third, while Decorated Invader was a nose further back in fifth.
Bama Breeze, Field Pass, and a spent Get Smokin completed the order of finish.
Domestic Spending’s win was his third of the year, having won his career debut at Tampa Bay Downs in February before defeating Belmont Park allowance rivals in June. The British-bred 3-year-old Kingman gelding’s lone defeat was a third-place effort behind Decorated Invader in the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) last time out and has now earned $340,900.
“With some experience the horse has really matured,” Brown said. “I was talking to Irad in the paddock about how well-behaved the horse was today. I was sharing with him how, between his last start and today, just how much more professional he has been in his works. Together, we were confident he would run his best race to date.”
Domestic Spending returned $16.40 to win, $5.70 to place, and $4.90 to show. Gufo brought back $6.60 to place and $4.90 to show, while No Word paid $8.60 to show.
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