Former Pletcher assistant takes Sanford
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Trainer Michael Dilger, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher, won a graded stakes for 2-year-olds at the track where Pletcher is the king of 2-year-old racing.
The New York-bred Wired Bryan fended off a renewed threat by Hollywood Talent at the top of the stretch to win the Grade II Sanford at Saratoga Race Course.
Dilger became a head trainer in January and has won just three races, but this was a big one and could send the son of Stormy Atlantic to the Grade I Hopeful at the end of the meet.
"Today is my first stakes winner and first stakes runner ... sorry, I’m hoarse. I was cheering a little bit," Dilger said.
Grade III Bashford Manor winner Debt Ceiling, the 9-5 post-time favorite who came into the Sanford undefeated from three starts, had a troubled trip and finished last of six.
All in Blue, owned by Starlight Racing and trained by Pletcher, stumbled badly out of the gate and finished fourth.