Trainer John Terranova wasn’t insulted by the fact that My Redbyrd was dismissed by the betting public at 18-1.
That’s what happens when you go ahead and win, anyway, as My Redbyrd made a big move in the stretch to win the one-mile $75,000 Hattie Moseley at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
“I didn’t think she’d be 18-1, 19-1. It was a pretty evenly matched bunch on paper,” Terranova said.
The inner turf course was listed “good”, as it was when My Redbyrd faded to sixth in the Edgewood at Churchill Downs in May.
The condition of the Saratoga course may have been misleading, or at least it was well-suited to My Redbyrd, who won two races on firm turf courses at Tampa Bay Downs this winter.
“The turf seems honest,” Terranova said. “I was a little concerned with the rain last night, but I think it needed it. It probably made it perfect. It wasn’t too soft out there.”
My Redbyrd, under Julien Leparoux, bided her time in the back of the pack before making a move as they headed down the stretch.
It was a slow pace set by Japanese Garden, and Tapit Dancer took the lead in midstretch, but succumbed to pressure from several horses to fall back to fourth.
My Redbyrd took the first crack at Tapit Dancer and held off Ruthenia by three-quarters of a length.
CROWNING ‘THE KING’
The jockey title at Saratoga has been named after Hall of Famer Angel Cordero Jr., a 14-time leading rider at the Spa.
The move by NYRA comes on the heels of last year’s naming of the trainer title after Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens.
Cordero, known as the “King of Saratoga,” won his first riding title at Saratoga in 1967, riding 36 winners at the age of 25. He won his second title nine years later with 29, beginning a string of 11 straight years on top of the jockey standings.
Cordero’s streak was stopped in 1987 by Jose Santos, but he returned to win again in 1988 and 1989.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is responsible for suggesting the idea of naming the title after Cordero to NYRA racing director P.J. Campo.
“I thought last year, when they did it for Mr. Jerkens was a fantastic thing, and I felt like, if the jockeys had a similar award, no one has done as much to make any of the titles here more important than Angel,” Pletcher said. “He emphasized the riding title here for years. It was really something where he brought his game up to a higher level.”
“Angel came to Saratoga to win the jockey title every single year,” said John Velazquez, a four-time leading Saratoga jockey. “Being leading rider here 14 years is an amazing accomplishment, and this is a well deserved honor.”
During a career that spanned four decades, Cordero won nearly every major race at Saratoga, including the Travers, Whitney (2), Alabama (3), Hopeful (2), Sword Dancer (3), Spinaway (5), Saratoga Special (1), Adirondack (2), Bernard Baruch (5), Jim Dandy (3), Personal Ensign (8), and Fourstardave (3).
He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1988.
ANIMAL KINGDOM PROGRESS
For the first time since the discovery of a left hind leg injury after the Belmont Stakes, Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, owned by Team Valor International, has been out walking the shed row for trainer Graham Motion.
Animal Kingdom is done racing for the year while recovering from a small break at the tip of the cannon bone and a slab fracture, but getting out of the stall for 5-10 minutes a day is a step in the right direction.
“[Veterinarian Dean Richardson] pretty much said keep him in the stall for two weeks, then as long as he was doing OK, we could start walking him,” Motion said. “At least he can get out and start doing some things. He looks great. He’s getting fat.”
Motion also is training half-brothers to both Animal Kingdom (Thursby) and Preakness winner Shackleford. Both 2-year-olds are breezing.
Thursby is by Mr. Greeley out of Dalicia and is owned by Team Valor.
Oatsee was in foal with the Shackleford half, by A.P. Indy, when she sold for $1.55 million to My Meadowview LLC at the 2008 Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale..