Sweet Reason passes Test

Who knows what will become of a filly who wins a Grade I stakes as a 2-year-old? It could be a fluke

Who knows what will become of a filly who wins a Grade I stakes as a 2-year-old?

It could be a fluke, the pinnacle of a career that never pans out the way it promised.

Leah Gyarmati hit a milestone at Saratoga Race Course in 2013 when she won the first Grade I of her career with Sweet Reason in the Spinaway.

Sweet Reason continued to prove that she isn’t a flash in the pan when she won the Grade I Test at Saratoga on Saturday, rallying in the stretch to roar past Miss Behaviour in the final strides to win by a length.

That made it two Grade I wins in a row for Sweet Reason, after she took the one-turn, one-mile Acorn at Belmont Park on June 7.

“I’m thrilled that she’s continuing on to be a good horse in her 3-year-old year,” Gyarmati said. “It’s a first for me to have a nice horse that doesn’t just pop up and run one or two big races, but it seems like she’s got a nice career going and keeps improving.

“It’s exciting.”

Like she did in the Spinaway with Alex Solis in the irons, Sweet Reason and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. used her characteristic back-of-the-pack running style to mow down the field for the seven-furlong Test.

It didn’t hurt that she was afforded a quick early pace to close into.

Fiftyshadesofgold took it out in 22.66 for the quarter-mile, 45.44 for the half and 1:09.63 for six furlongs and still led into the stretch before being challenged by the stalking Sweet Whiskey.

Fiftyshadesofgold was done inside the sixteenth pole and fell back to fourth as another stalker, Little Alexis, got up for third by a nose behind Miss Behaviour.

They couldn’t repel Sweet Reason on the outside, though, as she gobbled up the two stalkers and won in 1:22.13 as the 2-1 betting favorite.

“She was perfect,” Ortiz said. “She broke from behind, relaxed, and when I asked her to go, she just took off.”

“Second best today,” said Javier Castellano, who was on Miss Behaviour. “Beautiful spot. Great trip. Dream trip. Two horses made the pace, I’m third, outside … beautiful spot. Turning for home, I asked her, turned her on and said, ‘Let’s go.’ She gave me everything she had. Just second-best today. I give a lot of credit to the winner.”

Gyarmati welcomed the opportunity to get Sweet Reason back on the track where she performed so well last year, albeit on a muddy track that did not resemble Saturday’s dry, fast surface.

“This was the logical spot,” she said. “It came up a very salty field with some really nice fillies in this race, so this was probably her biggest test yet. She was doing really well, though, so win, lose or draw, I felt I’d done everything I could and she was as good as I could get her.”

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