SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – William and Corrine Heiligbrodt’s Yaupon kept his perfect record intact with a merry-go-round victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Yaupon was the 7/5 favorite as he broke from post 2 under Joel Rosario, who hustled the Steve Asmussen trainee straight to the lead. Long Weekend and Wondrwherecraigis tracked two- and three-wide down the backstretch while Yaupon posted opening fractions of :21.93 and :44.68.
Long Weekend dropped ancher at the top of the stretch and Wonderwherecraigis struggled to keep pace as Yaupon straightened for home with a growing advantage.
Under only mild urging, Yaupon remained well-clear of his rivals before crossing 2 lengths the best in a final time of 1:08.50 for the 6-furlong dash over the muddy (sealed) main track.
“He broke out of there well,” Rosario said. “I was trying to get a forward position and he put himself on the lead. He went on well. He’s a very talented horse.”
Basin finished second ahead of Premier Star, while Wondrwherecraigis and Long Weekend faded to fourth and fifth, respectively.
Liam’s Pride trailed throughout before completing the order of finish.
Yaupon’s win came in his first off-track attempt after back-to-back 6-furlong victories in the past two months that were contested over fast Churchill Downs and Saratoga main tracks. The late-blooming 3-year-old Uncle Mo colt, purchased for $255,000 as a juvenile, has now earned $168,264.
“He had very minor issues, but it was just the physics of it when you’re capable of going that fast,” Asmussen said. “We wanted to give him all the maturity we could. We were trying to follow a similar plan with him as we were with Mitole for the Heiligbrodts. They had expected to run him over the winter at the Fair Grounds, but he had another minor issue, so we erred on the side of caution as far as waiting and letting him get to 100%.”
Yaupon returned $4.80 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.30 to show. Basin brought back $3.10 to place and $2.30 to show, while Premier Star paid $3.40 to show.