Trainer Phil Serpe had to sweat out another one.
And for the second time, it was worth it.
His horse Weekend Hideaway won the John Morrissey on July 26 at Saratoga Race Course, but Serpe had to wait for the stewards to decide whether to rule in favor of another trainer’s objection.
Two weeks later, Serpe had to wait for a photo finish to be sorted out Thursday before it was determined that Goodbye Brockley beat Wegetsdamunnys by the slightest of noses in the Statue of Liberty Division of the New York Stallion Series.
“That was very tight,” Serpe said. “At first, when I was watching the race, I actually thought she won. But then you start looking at those slow motion things, and they make you crazy. You’re like ‘Did we? Didn’t we? Did we? Didn’t we?’”
As happy as Serpe was to win, he was also careful not to get too animated in his celebration.
He learned that the hard way when Weekend Hideaway beat Diversify at Belmont Park last year.
“When he won the Commentator against Rick’s [Violette] great horse, Diversify, he won by a billionth of an inch,” Serpe said. “I remember I jumped off the two steps at Belmont and tore the meniscus in my knee and had to have surgery.
“So they put that wheelchair ramp in just for me,” he joked, pointing to the steel ramp into the Saratoga winner’s circle.
Goodbye Brockley, ridden by Luis Saez, engaged in a head-bobbing stretch duel with Wegetsdamunnys and Manny Franco all the way to the wire in the one-mile Statue of Liberty..
“She’s a nice filly, and obviously the two turns helped her,” Serpe said. “She may have been struggling a little bit with the soft turf. I think she likes to hear her feet rattle a little, but a win is a win, and she did great. My hat’s off to the horse who was second.”
AROUND THE TRACK
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez took off his mounts for the second day in a row Thursday. He has a sore ankle. …
Jockey Manny Franco was lucky to stay on his mount, Parlapiano, in the second race.
In midstretch, he went to the left-handed stick, and when Parlapiano veered to his right, Franco lost his left iron and was sideways over the saddle for a second before recovering.
Parlapiano finished third. …
Wonder Gadot, who is pointing toward the Aug. 25 Travers and would be the first filly to run in it since Davona Dale in 1979, is scheduled to breeze a half-mile at 5:30 Friday morning.
Another Travers horse, Bravazo, breezed a half-mile in 51.60 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
“Slow, not what I wanted, but slow is better than fast,” Lukas said. “This work was not the one; next week is the one I want to be sharper.”
It was Bravazo’s first breeze since his runner-up finish to Good Magic in the Haskell. Other than Justify, Bravazo is the only horse to have run in all three Triple Crown races this season.
Five horses are lined up for Friday’s stakes race, the six-furlong Tale of the Cat on the main track.
My BoyTate is 6-5 on the morning line despite a six-month layoff.
He is riding a five-race winning streak, all against New York-breds, dating back to a maiden race at Saratoga a year ago.
Mr. Crow is wheeling back two weeks after finishing fourth to Imperial Hint in the Grade I A.G. Vanderbilt.
BUSY IN CHICAGO
Chad Brown has another stacked lineup for the Arlington Million card at Arlington Park on Saturday.
Saratoga’s leading trainer will saddle eight horses in Chicago, including Grade I Diana winner Sistercharlie running back in three weeks as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the Beverly D.
Thais, Fourstar Crook and Inflexibility are also in that race, and Brown has Analyze It entered in the Secretariat for 3-year-olds.
In the Million, he’ll send out Almanaar, Money Multiplier and Robert Bruce.
Brown has won the Million twice, in 2017 with Beach Patrol and in 2013 with Real Solution, who was placed first upon the disqualification of The Apache.
Beach Patrol won the Secretariat in 2016, and Brown has won the Beverly D. four times, including the last three, with Dacita, Sea Calisi and Watsdachances. Stacelita won it in 2011.