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Mitole rebounds in the Forego

Mitole rebounds in the Forego

After rare loss in Vanderbilt, 4-year-old colt puts away the Forego field by three lengths
Mitole rebounds in the Forego
Mitole, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., runs away from the field in the Grade I Forego at Saratoga.
Photographer: Erica Miller

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Perhaps Equibase, which publishes the official race charts in North America, should edit its short comments for Mitole's race line in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt to "Never mind."

With a flawless record that stretches back to March of last year, he finished third in the Vanderbilt at Saratoga Race Course on July 27, breaking to the right out of the gate and banging into the stall next to him from the No. 1 post.

That was a distant memory on Saturday, as he put three lengths of distance between himself and the competition to win the Grade I Forego under Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Mitole has won eight races, including the Grade I Met Mile, by a combined 36 1/2 lengths, and his Forego time of 1:20.80 was a stakes record for the 35 runnings at seven furlongs.

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"That's the caliber of horse he is, and it's great to see him back at the top of his game," Asmussen said.

Mitole, a three-time Grade I winner this year, broke well and allowed Promises Fulfilled to take the lead while stalking comfortably to his outside.

Santana asked for some acceleration coming into the turn, and Mitole gave it to him, moving to the front and putting away the competition as they got through the stretch.

Firenze Fire, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., got up for second, as Promises Fulfilled, owned by Bob Baron of Voorheesville, faded to last in the six-horse field.

"It was slow the first couple quarters, and my horse was comfortable in the position he was in," Santana said. "I didn't want to take anything from him. He put himself in a great spot, and that's why we passed the wire first."

"Ricardo knows the horse, lets him be himself and the best version of Mitole usually takes care of itself," Asmussen said.

"He did everything perfect," Ortiz said of Firenze Fire. "I was very happy with the way he ran. There was no getting around Mitole."

Asmussen is willing to draw a line through the Vanderbilt, since Mitole was compromised at the start, then couldn't catch what was a track-record performance by Imperial Hint.

"I think it was just the circumstances of the Vanderbilt just didn't suit him, coming off running in the Met Mile and then going back to three-quarters," Asmussen said. "He came out of the race in good shape, trained beautifully for this and the results speak for themselves."

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

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