SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Godolphin Racing LLC’s Zennor made his first career stakes start a successful one, charging from just off the pace to take Saturday’s $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes.
The gray 5-year-old gelding out of Medaglia d’Oro broke alertly from post 3 and quickly settled into second. Several lengths ahead of the field, Macagone set early fractions of :23.92, :47.00, and 1:09.88. Off the far turn, Zennor and jockey Joe Bravo began to wrangle in Macagone and passed him in the final furlong, then held off a late charge from Projected to win in a final time of 1:39.23 for the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
“I just try to stay out of this big gray horse’s way,” Bravo said. “Anything I ask him to do, he does it with ease. The most impressive thing about the race is that he came back like he did nothing. He kicked off at the top of the lane, he kicked all the way throughout it, but I still had horse underneath me. As he gets better, his confidence is getting better, too. He really was push-button, putting me wherever I wanted to be.”
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee broke his maiden at Saratoga on August 8, 2015. The win on Saturday was his fifth career and fourth in his past five races, all in 2017.
“He’s just really gotten good,” said McLaughlin. “Joe Bravo has turned him around, in my opinion. We got a little unlucky (in his last start), he got left at the gate and settled towards the back and won. Then today, he (Bravo) didn’t think there was too much pace, so he laid second and got the jump on everybody. He fits this horse very well and he deserves a lot of credit.”
Projected finished a 1/2-length ahead of Takeover Target, with a neck separating him from Fire Away, another neck to Ring Weekend, and yet another neck to Blacktype. Camelot Kitten, Our Way, Macagone, and Aubenas completed the order of finish. Vorticity was scratched and Mohaymen and Red Rifle were main-track-only entrants.
Zennor returned $30.60 to win, $9.30 to place, and $6.20 to show. Projected brought back $3.10 to place and $2.50 to show, while Takeover Target paid $5.80 to show.