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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – L and N Racing’s Echo Town erupted in mid-stretch and drew off convincingly to win Saturday’s $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
Echo Town broke alertly from post 4 at 7/1 odds under Ricardo Santana, Jr., and initially went for the lead, but his rider soon tapped on the brakes and Echo Town settled into midpack.
No Parole led with Eight Rings to his inside and Mischevious Alex on the right while posting opening fractions of :22.67 and :45.31 into the far turn.
Making a three-wide move to advance through the corner, Echo Town gained on the top trio and took aim at the lead while running out in the clear at the top of the stretch.
Gunning to the lead at the 1/16 pole, the Steve Asmussen trainee Town drew off impressively to win by 3 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:22.53 for the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint.
“He broke really sharp today, and when the dirt started hitting him in the face, he was jumping a little bit, but he was really comfortable,” said Santana, Jr. “I took him outside and he gave me a nice kick at the end. He was travelling really well. I knew there was plenty of speed today and I just wanted to sit behind the speed. I’m really happy with the horse.”
Tap It to Win was second by a 1/2-length over Shoplifted, while Captain Bombastic was 1 1/2 lengths behind them in fourth.
Sonneman, Mischevious Alex, Eight Rings, Hopeful Treasure, No Parole, Three Technique, and Liam’s Pride completed the order of finish.
Echo Town’s win improved his overall record to 7-4-2-1, a mark that includes finishing second in the Bachelor Stakes and the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) in his prior attempts at this level. The 3-year-old Speightstown colt has now earned $375,320.
“It was great to see him put it all together when it matters so much on this stage,” Asmussen said. “He ran solidly here. He ran really well into the Woody Stephens, but I thought the timing of this race was better. He’s run hard all year. He’s run consistently all year. Now, he will be noticed.”
Echo Town returned $16.40 to win, $6.60 to place, and $4.70 to show. Tap It to Win brought back $5.30 to place and $4.10 to show, while Shoplifted paid $7.30 to show.
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