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Synchrony Duplicates G3 Fair Grounds Success

Synchrony Duplicates G3 Fair Grounds Success

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Pin Oak Stable’s homebred Synchrony returned for more of the same on Saturday when the multiple graded stakes winner duplicated his success in last year’s edition by once again taking home the Grade 3, $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap.

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Breaking from post 9 as the even-money favorite under Joe Bravo, Synchrony took back and settled near the rear while Great Wide Open cleared the field from post 10 and crossed over to set the early pace. Running through quick fractions of :23.18, :47.37, and 1:11.34, Great Wide Open began to weaken heading into the far turn, which allowed First Premio to make his bid. Behind them came a blazing Bandua, who at 35/1 odds took control at the top of the stretch and looked poised to spring the upset. Synchrony, however, had different plans. Swinging six-wide at the top of the stretch, Synchrony shot down the middle of the track and collared Bandua inside the final 1/16 of a mile. Continuing to run on strongly, the Mike Stidham trainee drew off late to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:48.09 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the firm turf course.

“He was the best horse in his last race, anyone could have seen it,” Bravo said. “In turf racing, it’s all about getting position, and how you win races like that is by putting them in position, and he was unfortunate not to hit daylight,. Today, I was worried about the speed-favoring turf course and I had to use him a little bit. What makes him a good horse is that he listens to the rider. He’s a special animal, and hopefully he stays healthy for the future. He makes the rider look good.”

Bandua stayed on well for second, with 2 lengths separating him from Markitoff in third. Great Wide Open weakened to fourth, taking that by just a nostril over First Premio, with Tiz a Slam another nose back in sixth. Sir Duddley Digges and Combatant dead-heated for seventh and Big Changes completed the order of finish behind them. Sun Lover and Long On Luck both scratched, with the latter’s connections electing to run in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap one race earlier, where he finished seventh.

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Synchrony’s win was his first since taking the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park last July and improved his overall record to 19-8-3-5. The 6-year-old son of Tapit, most recently a close third in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar in November, increased his career bankroll to $733,052.

“His works coming in were as good as I could ever want them to be,” Stidham said. “Schooling the last couple of days and coming into the paddock today, he was just so cool and so calm that I knew he was set up for a big one. We worried about the speed bias and I told Joe to not let him drift out the back door. We had to have some kind of position turning for home to have a shot to win, and he did it.”

Synchrony returned $4.20 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Bandua brought back $18 to place and $10.60 to show, while Markitoff paid $10.60 to show.

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