SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat gave every reason for his connectios to celebrate after he pulled off a convincing win in Friday’s $100,000 Alydar Stakes at Saratoga.
Breaking from post 2 as the even-money favorite under Joel Rosario, Tom’s d’Etat soon settled along the rail heading into the clubhouse turn while Tour de Force posted opening fractions of :22.90 and :46.44. Approaching the far turn, Rosario tipped Tom’s d’Etat out and he soon swept past American Tattoo, who had been running in third.
Tom’s d’Etat continued picking off foes as Tour de Force gave way and Backyard Heaven couldn’t hold him off. Rounding the far turn with an impressive stride, Tom’s d’Etat continued to stretch away. Geared down in the final 1/16, the Al Stall, Jr., trainee crossed with a length advantage in a final time of 1:47.45 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast main track.
“It looked like the race had a lot of speed and my horse has speed, too,” Rosario said. “I just let him break and we ended up following the leaders in the first part. They went very fast up front, but he was happy the whole time, and when I called for him to go, he was there for me. He ran a good race.”
Wooderson rallied strongly in the stretch and closed ground late on the slowing winner before crossing 6 3/4 lengths ahead of Golden Brown for second. Backyard Heaven weakened in the stretch and just held off Carlino for fourth by a nose. Behind them came You’re to Blame, American Tattoo, Tour de Force, and Candygram to complete the order of finish.
Tom’s d’Etat’s win was his first since taking the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds last December and improved his record to 13-7-2-1 with $716,892 earned. Before the Alydar, the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike returned from a three-month to finish second in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) and third in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2), both at his home base of Churchill Downs.
“He has the talent,” said Stall, Jr. “He loves this course and he deserves to win a race like this at Saratoga. We were considering entering the Whitney, but ultimately, we decided he could use some class relief, and he gives us a lot to look forward to coming off this performance. We kept him at Churchill to get ready for this race. He just does so well down there and doesn’t need much to get acclimated.”
Tom’s d’Etat returned $4 to win, $3.10 to place, and $2.40 to show. Wooderson brought back $10.60 to place and $6.30 to show, while Golden Brown paid $9.30 to show.