SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Favorite Camelot Kitten looked as if he were poised for victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac at Saratoga Race Course Saturday afternoon, but Inspector Lynley and rider Joel Rosario had other notions.
With a furious late run, Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred Inspector Lynley overtook the 8-5 favorite in the final yards to post a head victory in the race’s 109th renewal. The victory was the first in a stakes for Inspector Lynley.
Camelot Kitten held second, and was followed under the wire by Isotherm, who finished one length behind the runner-up.
The pace in the 1 1/8-mile inner turf race for 3-year-olds was set by Ray’s The Bar, who carved out fractions of 23.87 seconds, 48.46, and 1:12.54 over a course labeled firm.
In the final furlong, Camelot Kitten, who had lingered at the back of the pack for six furlongs, had surged to the lead under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., but Inspector Lynley, who had saved ground on the rail, was navigated to the outside by Rosario and hit the wire first.
Rosario, who won the Saranac last year aboard World Approval, said with the dearth of speed in the field, he wanted his mount positioned closer to the early pace than is his custom.
“He broke beautifully out of the gate. There wasn’t a lot of speed, and I thought that I could hold my spot,” Rosario said. “He was very game and not too far from the pace. I thought the race would not be that fast. He is putting it all together now.”
Winning trainer Shug McGaughey, who captured his first Saranac, said he was delighted that Inspector Lynley ran to his training.
“This horse was coming into the race really well,” McGaughey remarked. “He had some excuses his last three starts. Last start, he was wide in the [Grade 3] Kent and the horse who beat him [American Patriot] came back and ran well in the [Grade 1] Secretariat, so I thought that legitimized that race.
“He had a good work on the turf here last [Sunday] and I really had some confidence going in,” the trainer added. “But you always like to be able to find out if they’re good enough.”
The Saranac marks Inspector Lynley’s second win from nine career starts. The win elevated the colt’s earnings to $276,884.
The final time was 1:46.68. Inspector Lynley, a son of Lemon Drop Kid, returned $16.
The order of finish was completed by Ray’s The Bar, Strike Midnight and Call Provision.
Copinaway was scratched.
Saranac (G3) Quotes
Shug McGaughey, winning trainer of Inspector Lynley (No. 1): “I’m very pleased, this horse was coming into the race really well and trained really well. He had some excuses his last three starts. Last start, he was wide in the [Grade 3] Kent and the horse who beat him [American Patriot] came back and ran well in the [Grade 1] Secretariat, so I thought that legitimized that race.”
“He had a good work on the turf here last Friday and I really had some confidence going in. But you always like to be able to find it if they’re good enough. I didn’t want to run him in a mile and a sixteenth.”
“We didn’t figure there would be a lot of pace, in fact there was more than I thought there would be. He broke sharp from the inside so I said [to Joel Rosario] to hold your position. I think he’ll put you where you want to be.’ He then swung him out around the eighth pole, that worried me a little bit. But that’s where he really kicked in. This horse wants to run as far as you want to run him.”
Joel Rosario, winning jockey aboard Inspector Lynley (No. 1): “He broke beautifully out of the gate. There wasn’t a lot of speed and I thought that I could hold my spot. He was very game and not too far from the pace, and I thought the race would not be that fast and he is looking at stronger horse’s now. He is now putting it all together.”