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Mike MacAdam's The Wire
by Mike MacAdam

The Wire

A Daily Gazette sports blog
News from the world of thoroughbred horse racing

Dead heat in Schuylerville

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- It didn't take long for Saratoga Race Course to produce a flashback to 2012.

Reminiscent of last year's Travers Stakes, Bahnah and Brazen Persuasion dead-heated in the Grade III Schuylerville today to kick off the 150-year anniversary of racing at Saratoga.

One step from the wire, Bahnah, the 6-5 post-time favorite ridden by Corey Lanerie, got a nose in front of 2-1 Brazen Persuasion.

Brazen Persuasion regained the lead by the slightest of noses in the next step, but the finish line didn't come quite soon enough to prevent Bahnah from stretching her neck in one last gasp to get a piece of the victory.

“They were opposite on the nods, and you could tell it was no-yes, no-yes, no-yes,” said Steve Asmussen, trainer of Brazen Persuasion. “Then you're standing there, and I thought she did get beat on the replay. Then they throw the number up, the 4-5 in order, they throw the dead heat, so we'll take all of it. We're standing here with it over, official and happy about it."

“This was obviously a big step for her going from 4 1/2 furlongs to six furlongs, but she stepped up and proved it today,” said Bret Calhoun, trainer of Bahnah. “She's always been a mentally mature filly, and she continues to progress both mentally and physically. I think the Spinaway is probably now on our radar."

Last year, Alpha and Golden Ticket dead-heated in the $1 million Travers Stakes.

In the undercard feature, Sage Valley stalked the leaders in the Grade III James Marvin and won for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who said they'll look at running in the Grade I Forego later in the meet.

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