Race Recaps

Sombeyay Strikes Gold in G3 Sanford

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Starlight Racing’s Sombeyay battled the length of the stretch to nip Strike Silver at the wire and take the gold in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga.

Breaking from the rail under Javier Castellano as the slight 5-2 favorite, Sombeyay settled in mid-pack early while Bano Solo and Strike Silver dueled heads apart through opening splits of :22.26 and :45.49. Nearing the exit of the far turn, Sombeyay tipped out into the three-path and began chasing after the lead duo. While Bano Solo began weakening in the final 1/16, Sombeyay came roaring along Strike Silver’s outside. In the final jumps, Sombeyay surged past Strike Silver to win by a neck in a final time of 1:10.35 for the 6-furlong main track event.

“It was perfect,” Castellano said. “He broke good out of the gate and put me in the right position. Today, I didn’t want to be too far back. It worked out the way we wanted today. He’s a good come-from-behind horse. It was very satisfying.”

Whiskey Echo overtook a fading Bano Solo for third by a 1/2-length, while Knicks GoLexitonian, and Chase Greatness completed the order of finish behind them. Dream Maker was scratched.

Sombeyay’s win was his second in three career starts, with the Sanford and a debut score bookending a near-miss in the $150,000 Tremont Stakes last month. The Todd Pletcher-trained juvenile son of Into Mischief has now earned $136,500 in his young career.

“I thought he ran really well,” Pletcher said after winning his seventh Sanford, a record. “Showed a little more speed than I thought he would. Javier had to take a bit of a hold of him at one point, but when he took him out, he finished up nicely. I think in these early 2-year-old races, experience is huge. Having two starts compared to others with only one, I think that helped today. I think it hurt him a little the last time when he stumbled, you could argue that it helped him today. ”

Sombeyay returned $7.70 to win, $4 to place, and $2.70 to show. Strike Silver brought back $4.30 to place and $3.20 to show, while Whiskey Echo paid $3.60 to show.

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