It didn’t go as planned, until the last furlong or so, when Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott saw his horse kicking through the stretch to win its first stakes race.
Harrods Creek won the $100,000 John’s Call at Saratoga Race Course on Friday under jockey Junior Alvarado for his first stakes score in nine tries.
His last time out, he was sixth over 11⁄2 miles over Arlington’s turf in the Grade III Stars and Stripes. The John’s Call goes 15⁄8 miles over the turf for horses 3 and older, and Harrods Creek bided his time before kicking through the turn and stretch to win easily.
“We thought maybe the 5 horse, Hailstone, would show a little speed,” Mott said. “We thought maybe we’d be laying second or even possibly on the lead, but it didn’t work out that way. A couple of horses showed more speed than we anticipated, but our rider made the judgment to let the horse settle where he was comfortable, and he picked up the pieces at the end. It worked out great.”
Hailstone and Ballet Boy were the early lead pair, while Harrods Creek sat back in fourth through the first two turns. He went three wide into the stretch and fired past the leaders, relaxing in the final few jumps to still win by 33⁄4 lengths.
“The horse is running some very nice races,” Mott said. “He’s run some real hard races, he’s been touched off at the wire a couple times, like at Woodbine [second, Grade III Valedictory]. He ran real hard in California in the San Juan Capistrano [third, Grade II], but today was his day, and we’re happy to have the win.”
BREEZE FOR ‘BISHOP’
In preparation for the Grade I $500,000 King’s Bishop on Travers Day, Trinniberg breezed four furlongs over the Oklahoma Training Track.
Trinniberg went in 49.41 under jockey Willie Martinez.
“His regular rider was aboard him, and we told him we didn’t want anything faster than 49,” owner Shivananda Parbhoo told the New York Racing Association. “He went in 49.41, which is perfect. [Martinez] didn’t move a muscle. [Trinniberg] came back happy and went straight to his feed.”
Trinniberg will breeze here the next two Saturdays for trainer Bisnath Parboo, the owner’s father. His last time out, he was second in the Grade III Carry Back at Calder to Fort Loudon on July 7.
Last year at Saratoga, Trinniberg was second at 68-1 to Currency Swap in the Grade I Hopeful. He exacted a little revenge on Currency Swap two starts back, beating him in the Grade II Woody Stephens.
The King’s Bishop, for 3-year-olds, is run at the same seven-furlong distance as the Hopeful.