Trainer Tony Dutrow was happy for his brother Rick, who won the Grade III James Marvin on opening day at Saratoga Race Course on Friday.
He was a little happier for himself about a half- hour later after winning the Grade III $150,000 Schuylerville with So Many Ways.
“When me and my brother race against one another, we both want to win, but we both want each other to do great,” Tony Dutrow said.
Throughout the day, the main track had been owned by early speed, the frontrunners often holding on for the victory. Then So Many Ways showed there was another way in the six-furlong run for 2-year-old fillies.
“These young fillies were at a bit of a disadvantage, how the track was playing today, having only run one time and all of them had shown speed,” Tony Dutrow said. “So something had to give today.”
Rick Dutrow’s Baby J, the morning-line favorite, got the early jump and led the field through early fractions of 22.22 and 45.85. It looked as though the man facing an unprecedented 10-year ban from training might sweep the opening-day stakes at Saratoga after finishing as the top trainer at Belmont.
Can’t Explain, ridden by Jose Lezcano, came on to challenge exiting the turn and drew nearly even with Baby J and rider Joel Rosario. At the eighth pole, So Many Ways ran four-wide outside Can’t Explain and the two locked in a brief duel, passing Baby J.
Around the sixteenth pole, winning jockey Javier Castellano urged So Many Ways past Can’t Explain for the win by 11⁄2 lengths.
“She’s a really nice filly, really good in the way she’s developing, and I’m really excited about her,” Castellano said. “There was a lot of speed in the race today. I’m fortunate, I just got her covered up behind horses, and she responded so well today.”
Tony Dutrow felt pretty good about the filly entering the race. She was fresh off a win in her
debut June 9 at Parx, an eight-length victory over 41⁄2 furlongs.
“I told the entry clerk who took the entry that we were going to win this race. And you can check that out,” he said. “I was feeling really good about this filly. I’ve won this race before and finished second a couple times with horses that couldn’t come close to her. So I was feeling really good about her coming into this race.”
So Many Ways went off as the favorite and paid $7.60. Can’t Explain and Baby J rounded out the trifecta.
The filly has shown extraordinary maturity for her age, Dutrow said.
“She did everything right,” he said. “A lot of times, with the young horses, that’s all it takes. Absolutely, talent is a factor. But the quality of the horse, I think, is maybe even a bigger factor.”
The Spinaway, a $300,000 Grade I race over seven furlongs here on Sept. 2, is a possible target for So Many Ways. Dutrow expects her to continue to be a strong runner as he challenges her with longer races.
“I do think this filly will go on, I think she’ll stretch out,” he said. “Her pedigree says she’ll stretch out. I think this is absolutely a very interesting filly to watch into the fall and next year as a 3-year-old.”