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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Long Lake Stable’s Stan the Man got up in time as part of an exciting finish to win Thursday’s $85,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes at Saratoga.
Sent away from post 2 under Joel Rosario as the 4/5 favorite in the five-horse field, Stan the Man lingered at the rear and watched Ready to Escape set the opening pace, posting fractions of :22.38 and :45.02.
Stan the Man crept closer through the far turn and Rosario tipped him out wide to commence a stretch-run rally. All five runners formed a wall just outside the 1/16 pole, making for an exciting end to the race.
Taking command from that point, Stan the Man inched clear before crossing 1 1/2 lengths the best. The John Terranova trainee completed the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in a final time of 1:09.47.
“Being on the inside, he broke well, but everybody sent right away, so I let him be there,” Rosario said. “I didn’t want to chase them and just stayed inside for a bit and he didn’t mind that. Turning for home, I came outside, and that’s what he wanted to do. I wanted to be in the clear. I had the best horse in the race and I didn’t want to be stuck on the inside, the way the race was going. I was just looking to get in the clear. He finished really well.”
My Boy Tate – who was rallying just to the winner’s inside in mid-stretch – fought hard to take second over T Loves a Fight and Binkster, who finished in a dead heat for third.
Though seemingly overwhelmed in mid-stretch, Ready to Escape was just another 1/2-length behind the rest of the field to complete the order of finish.
Stan the Man’s win followed a game runner-up effort in the True North Stakes (G2) and improved his overall record to 24-7-7-2, which also includes winning last December’s Queens County Stakes. The 6-year-old Broken Vow gelding, purchased for $150,000 as a yearling, has now earned $483,124 for his connections.
“He ran so good last time in the True North,” Terranova said. “He had a couple of races earlier in the year where we were scratching our heads and weren’t sure what the issues were. We started to do something different and cut him back to sprinting, where he was successful before early on. He’s a versatile type. We can do just about anything with him, so this looked like the right spot conditions-wise up here.”
Stan the Man returned $3.90 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. My Boy Tate brought back $3.80 to place and $2.10 to show, while T Loves a Fight and Binkster each paid $2.10 to show.
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