SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – After being ignored at the betting windows, 12-1 long shot Firenze Fire made fools of the bettors in the Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Owned by Mr Amore Stable’s, trained by Jason Servis, and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., the Florida-bred colt was making his second career start after breaking his maiden at Monmouth Park at first asking.
Breaking from post 3, Firenze Fire stalked the pace while Baffin and Psychoanalyze dueled on the front end. The ride by Ortiz, Jr. proved smart because he had plenty of horse left when the real running begin. Ortiz, Jr. and Firenze Fire were able to get the jump on the fast-closing Free Drop Billy to win the race by a length. Psychoanalyze held on to finish third, followed by Baffin, Bal Harbour, Admiral Jimmy, Direct Dial, and Nauti Boy.
“It’s his second time out,” said Ortiz, Jr. “He did everything right. I threw the reins at him and he really liked it. He was working really good in the mornings, so he’s in good condition. He really was there for me. He looked like a really nice horse. Hopefully, he stays sound and healthy.”
The win increases the earnings for the son of Poseidon’s Warrior to $111,600, and more importantly, hope for the future. Trainer Jason Servis believes that he has a serious colt on his hands who could make noise not only this year, but perhaps next year as well when the distances get longer.
“The horse has always been very classy, but when he won the first time, I was a little surprised,” said winning trainer Jason Servis. “He won going away and there really wasn’t much around. We thought this is where we’ve got to take a shot, and it all worked out, which is very exciting.”
“I think he’ll run long. I asked Irad, and he thinks he’ll run long. He’s kind of laid back. I think he’ll get 7/8 (for the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful on September 4). I think he’ll get a mile, 1 1/4, really. He’s that kind of horse.”
Firenze Fire returned $27, $10.40, and $6.3o. Free Drop Billy brought back $4.70 and $3.20, while Psychoanalyze paid $4.10 to show.