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Mr. Havercamp wins Forbidden Apple

Mr. Havercamp wins Forbidden Apple

Gelding gives Canadian connections victory in rare trip to the Spa
Mr. Havercamp wins Forbidden Apple
Mr. Havercamp rolls home under Junior Alvarado to win the Forbidden Apple at Saratoga on Friday.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Caddy Tony D'Annunzio had a much more exasperating time guiding Mr. Havercamp to his golf ball than jockey Junior Alvarado had guiding Mr. Havercamp the horse to the finish line Friday.

The 5-year-old gelding won the $100,000 Forbidden Apple at a mile on the Inner Turf Course at Saratoga Race Course for owners Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry, Canadians who have named some of their horses after characters from the old sketch comedy show SCTV.

In this case, Mr. Havercamp is a "Caddyshack" reference, but unlike the meandering old duffer in the movie, the horse kept to a straight path and found the wire a half-length ahead of Hembree.

"I just wanted to make sure that I put him in a good spot," Alvarado said. "By the half-mile pole, I was pretty excited with where I was and where he was traveling. I knew that I had a lot of horse under me, so I was pretty confident. As soon as I turned for home, he gave me a nice kick and was just all-out right there, trying hard."

"Going into the first turn, I was a little concerned, because he'd never been on a tight course like that, but he handled it well, for a big horse," trainer Catherine Day Phillips said. "He had a great spot, and as Junior said, 'He took me to the lead.'"

The card was marred by the death of Fight Night, who finished second in the last race but broke down a few strides past the wire and was euthanized on the track with what New York Racing Association attending veterinarian Jennifer Durenberger said was a "catastrophic right front ankle fracture."

Jockey Javier Castellano was thrown from the saddle, but walked off after being examined by medical personnel on the track, and also went through the First Aid station without serious injury.

For the Woodbine-based Phillips, Mr. Havercamp's Forbidden Apple score was her second victory at Saratoga, after Jambalaya took the Saranac in 2005.

Mr. Havercamp also raced in the Saranac, finishing fifth to Voodoo Song in 2017.

"He was a very special horse for me, and this horse has always reminded me of Jambalaya, so we brought him here for the Saranac. He ran well, but didn't quite get the job done, but he came back and got the job done today," Phillips said.

It was Voodoo Song who beat Mr. Havercamp in the Saranac two years ago to cap a remarkable 4-for-4 at the 2017 meet, and he was back in the Forbidden Apple after a nine-month layoff.

He finished eighth.

"The soft turf didn't help him, and we're struggling to get him tight enough, get the weight off him, so the combination of the soft turf and the layoff, he just needs a couple runs to get him in shape," trainer Linda Rice said.

PHAROAH BABY

Fans of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will get a look at the first of his progeny to race at Saratoga in the fourth race on Saturday's card, a $90,000 maiden special weight at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Pharoah Cat finished fifth in his career debut at Churchill Downs on June 23.

PLETCHER WORKS

Two stakes winners from trainer Todd Pletcher's barn are scheduled to work Saturday in preparation probably for races at Monmouth Park.

King for a Day, who beat Maximum Security in the Pegasus at Monmouth last time out, has worked twice over the Oklahoma Training Track and likely will get a rematch with Maximum Security in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 20.

Pletcher told the New York Racing Association that Godolphin Mile winner Coal Front may also run on the Haskell card, in the Grade III Monmouth Cup.

SPA NOTES

Trainer Jonathan Thomas said 2018 Travers winner Catholic Boy, who is still at Belmont Park after finishing second to Preservationist in the Suburban, will head north to Saratoga at the end of the month to start preparing for the Woodward on closing weekend. ...

Trainer Rusty Arnold said that rising 3-year-old turf star Concrete Rose came out of her Belmont Oaks victory in good order and is on track to run in the second leg of the new Turf Tiara series, the $750,000 Saratoga Oaks on Aug. 2.

"She has really progressed," he said. "She's 3-for-3 as a 3-year-old, and each time she's run I feel she's gotten better. Hopefully, by the end of the meet we can say we still have the top 3-year-old turf filly in the country. Certainly, as of right now, she's proven herself that so far."

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

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