The winner was disqualified, but his owner still got a picture taken after the $100,000 Curlin Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course on Friday.
Darley Stable’s Transparent and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. finished two lengths ahead of Romansh, ridden by Junior Alvarado and also owned by Darley Stable, only to be taken down and placed fifth for interfering with Proud Strike as they came off the turn in the nine-furlong race.
“At least we kept it in the family,” trainer Tom Albertrani said.
Romansh, a son of Bernardini, had his own problems at the start of the race, losing some position when he stumbled out of the gate.
He was able to swing around horses from fourth coming off the turn as Transparent, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, swept off the rail from behind that wall of horses to get outside.
In so doing, he cut in front of Proud Strike just enough to cause Proud Strike, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., to clip heels and nearly go down, which was ruled by the stewards to warrant a disqualification.
“I have to say that’s not the idea going in, to run two and hope they run 1-2 and they have to reverse the order,” Darley Stable president Jimmy Bell said. “Both horses ran winning races. Tommy’s colt had a little problem leaving the gate and lost a little position right there. Making his fourth lifetime start, that was a big step forward and shows he belongs with these upper-division 3-year-olds. That was a promising effort, for sure.”
“I think we could entertain [the Travers] a little bit,” Albertrani said. “We’ll wait and see how things go. We’ll see how things run [today in the Jim Dandy].”
Jockey John Velazquez, in position to pass Jerry Bailey as the all-time leading winner at Saratoga, went 0-for-3 to remain tied at 693 victories.
He’s scheduled to ride eight today, including even-money favorite Kauai Katie in the Prioress and 8-5 Stephanie’s Kitten in the Diana.
CURRENCY SWAP THIRD
Making his return to Saratoga for the first start of 2013, Currency Swap finished third, two lengths behind Jake N Elwood, in the first race, an allowance optional claimer.
Trained by Saratoga Central Catholic graduate Terri Pompay, Currency Swap won the Grade I Hopeful in 2011, then won the Grade II Amsterdam last year before finishing sixth in the Grade I King’s Bishop.
He hadn’t raced since finishing seventh in the Gallant Bob at Parx in September. In the meantime, Currency Swap had surgery to correct a breathing problem.
UNBRIDLED’S SONG DEAD
Unbridled’s Song was euthanized at the age of 20 on Friday because of declining health due to a large inoperable mass in his head.
One of the most successful sires in the world, he broke his maiden at Saratoga in 1995, and went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
As a 3-year-old, he won the Grade I Wood Memorial, but kicked himself in the process, and the resulting quarter crack compromised his chances in the Kentucky Derby, where he was fifth.
He finished his career in 1997 as a 4-year-old with a win in the Olympic Handicap at Gulfstream Park and had over $1.3 million in earnings and a 5-4-0 record from 12 starts.
He made a bigger name for himself as a stallion for Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky.
Unbridled’s Song sired 45 winners of 100 stakes races, the most recent of which was Graydar in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream on Feb. 10.
Among his graded-stakes winners were Breeders’ Cup Distaff winners Unbridled Elaine and Unrivaled Belle, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman,
Octave, Splendid Blended, Domestic Dispute, Grey Song, Alexander, Political Force, Eurosilver, Eight Belles, Old Fashioned, Buddha and Songandaprayer.
According to brisnet.com, horses by Unbridled’s Song and out of his daughter have earned $102 million in purses.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Successful Dan posted another bullet work at Saratoga and is on track to start in the Whitney next weekend, trainer Charlie LoPresti said.
The 7-year-old gelding breezed five furlongs in 1:00.16 over the main track. He was targeting the Whitney last year, but a strained ligament cancelled that plan, along with the rest of his year.
His stablemate, reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan, had been considered for the Whitney, but will point to the Fourstardave on Aug. 10, a race he won last year.
Other likely Whitney horses are Alpha, Cross Traffic, Mucho Macho Man and Fort Larned, who won the Whitney and Breeders’ Cup Classic last year.
Wise Dan is scheduled to breeze on the Oklahoma training track at 9:45 this morning.
HALL OF FAME LEGENDS
Hall of Fame members D. Wayne Lukas, Jacinto Vasquez and LeRoy Jolley are scheduled to participate in upcoming editions of the National Museum of Racing’s “Hall of Fame Legends” series, a weekly program scheduled for Tuesdays during the meet produced in conjunction with the Capital OTB television network.
Lukas will appear this Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Museum’s Hall of Fame Gallery.
Vasquez and Jolley will participate together on Aug. 6 at 11 a.m.
The programs are free to attend with a paid museum admission.
The series will feature 60-minute interviews by former jockey Jeff Carle, with opportunities for audience members to ask questions.