Same birthday gift for Mott: a winner

Bill Mott got his birthday present, it just didn’t come in the big box.

For the 13th time in


Bill Mott got his birthday present, it just didn’t come in the big box.

For the 13th time in the last 18 Sar­atoga Race Course meets, the Hall of Fame trainer won a race on his birthday, when Reach a Decision took the second race, a maiden race.

Later, in the $75,000 Curlin Stakes, the Mott-trained Raison d’Etat couldn’t catch the front-running Turbo Compressor, who is now possible for the Travers on Aug. 27.

“We’ll see,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Mott turned 58 on Friday.

He had horses entered in three races, and got the early present when Reach a Decision won by 11⁄4 lengths.

“It’s exciting. Obviously, there’s become a little bit of pressure along with it,” Mott said. “Some people think you have to win. But it’s fun to get a win out of the way on your birthday.”

Turbo Compressor, ridden by Javier Castellano, got away with comfortable fractions and had plenty left in the tank to hold off Raison d’Etat.

“Last time, I think we took him out of his comfort zone a little bit and rushed him to the lead,” Pletcher said. “I just told Javier I didn’t care where he was positioned, I just wanted him within himself and against the bridle a little bit. The horse broke great, and then some horses we anticipated would show some speed didn’t.”

Mott said Raison d’Etat moved forward from his previous win in a maiden race and warrants consideration for a stakes later in the meet.


To Honor and Serve, a two-time Grade II winner at 2 who was knocked off the Triple Crown trail by injury, is entered in the Grade II Amsterdam on Monday. He hasn’t raced since a third to Dialed In in the Florida Derby. . . .

The field for next Saturday’s Whitney is shaping up to be Tizway, Apart, Duke of Mischief, Flat Out, Friend Or Foe, Giant Oak, Headache, Mission Impazible, Morning Line, Rail Trip and Rodman.

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