If they write the race to go a mile and five-eighths, you may as well make sure that you run as close to that distance as possible.
Javier Castellano did just that, letting geometry do its thing to win the $100,000 John’s Call Stakes on Hyper at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday.
Castellano kept Hyper on the rail for most of the race, close to the leaders, then moved a few paths outside to find running room on the third of three turns to get the lead and hold off Side Road by 1 3⁄4 lengths.
With the win, Hyper improved to 9-5-2 from 20 lifetime starts, and 2-2-2 from six starts this year after a brief foray to Great Britain last year before returning to the barn of Mechanicville native Chad Brown.
It was the fifth winner of the meet for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
“Perfect trip. I stalked on the inside,” Castellano said. “We had three turns. The first two turns, I saved a lot of ground, and that’s exactly what Chad Brown told me to do. He said, ‘The last turn, you decide, use your own judgment.’ ”
The lack of rain certainly played a factor to help Hyper’s chances, Brown said.
“We took a shot,” he said. “It’s a very odd race, a mile and five-eighths. There aren’t many of them over here. This was uncharted territory for him. It seems he was finishing his races well. He trains like a horse who has some stamina.
“More importantly, he likes firm ground. When we had an oportunity to run on a firm turf course today, you take what you can get.”
Bill Parcells will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, but has some business in Saratoga first, as his horse, Saratoga Snacks is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in today’s $100,000 John Morrissey for New York-breds in the sixth race.
It’s a short field of five for the Morrissey, but features a rematch between Saratoga Snacks and Saginaw, who won 10 of 14 starts last year. One of them was the Alex M. Robb to close the season in December, and Saratoga Snacks won as Saginaw was third in his only poor performance in the last 11 starts that include four wins in four races this year.
Trainer Gary Sciacca said that, if Saratoga Snacks wins the John Morrissey, they will look at starting in the Grade I Forego.
Saratoga Snacks, a 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat, is 6-2-0 from eight starts and has run against open company just once, an allowance win at Belmont Park.
He’s coming off a victory in the Shy Groom in which he beat two of the John Morrissey entrants, Mine Over Matter and B Shanny.
Saginaw won the John Morrissey by five lengths last year.
“He loves being here in Saratoga,” trainer David Jacobson said. “We are looking forward to running in the race. At this level, against these horses, he will have to give it his best game.”
PATSOS AND SERLING
New Siena men’s basketball coach Jimmy Patsos will be one of four guests with Andy Serling for “At The Post Live” to be broadcast live on ESPN 104.5 from The Parting Glass at 9 tonight.
The other guests are Ken Ramsey, HRTV broadcaster Scott Hazelton and TimeformUS’ Craig Milkowski.
NEW OWNERS LUNCHEON
Trainers Gary Contessa and Linda Rice will be among the speakers participating in NYRA’s “New Owners Luncheon” on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Co-hosted by former jockey and NYRA TV analyst Richard Migliore and former Daily News handicapper Ernie Munick, the program was initiated in 2011 and provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of thoroughbred ownership to those interested in buying a racehorse.
The event will begin at 8 a.m. with breakfast on the porch, followed by presentations and Q&A session with Contessa and Rice, along with owner Roddy Valente of Loudonville, the racing partnerships of Sackatoga Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds, equine accountant Andre Moglia and state steward Stephen Lewandowski.
Also included in the $100 registration fee is lunch in the luxury suites, a backstretch tour, a visit to the paddock to see the horses being saddled before a race, a winner’s circle presentation, an official program and a gift bag.
Throughout the day, guests also will have the opportunity to meet many of NYRA’s leading jockeys, trainers and owners.
Registration details for the “New Owners Luncheon” are available at www.nyra.com.. For more information call Horsemen’s Relations at Saratoga, 584-6200 ext: 2205 to reserve a spot. Space is limited to 60.
AROUND THE TRACK
Valente made it to the winner’s circle on Wednesday when the 3-year-old filly Hot Stones he co-owns won the second race. . . .
The Phipps Stable filly Caxambas Pass, who broke her maiden in the third race, is a half-sister to Point of Entry. They’re both out of the Seeking the Gold mare Matlacha Pass.