The first graded stakes race of the 2022 Saratoga meet went to the Eddie Kenneally-trained Just Cindy, winner of the Grade 3 Schuylerville on Thursday’s opening day card. The 2-year-old Clarkland Farm homebred filly, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., reached the wire two lengths in front. She paid $6.20 to win.
Just Cindy, a daughter of Triple Crown winner Justify, won her debut at Churchill Downs last month. Kenneally, a Waterford native, has a history of winning graded stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga, having taken the Sanford there in 2016 and 2019.
David Duggan won his first race at Saratoga since 2017 when Standard Racing’s Crosstalk, a 3-year-old filly, had just enough gas in the tank to last by a head after bringing a three-length lead into the stretch in Sunday’s third race, a maiden claiming sprint on the main track. Crosstalk, ridden by Jose Ortiz, had raced on grass in her three previous starts. Duggan also added blinkers to her arsenal. She paid $4.70 to win and was claimed by Jeremiah Englehart.
COLONIAL DAYS BEGIN
On the matter of opening days, Colonial Downs began its 2022 schedule last Monday. Brendan Walsh and Fergal Lynch combined to win the third race with Heider Family Stables’ Flown, a 4-year-old filly with an allergy to winning. Her career box entering this first-level allowance route on the lawn read 11-1-6-2. Still, the public sent her off at even money. Lynch parked her near the back of the pack early and got into her approaching the eighth pole, yielding victory by just over a length. Flown paid $4.00 to win.
Derek Ryan impacted the opening day card at Colonial by sweeping the exacta in the ninth race. He sent out a pair of 6-year-old geldings in Louis Zito’s Smile Bryan and Eagle View Farm’s Thomond Park. The race, a $10,000 claiming mile on the turf, was interesting enough, as Smile Bryan led the length of the stretch to hold off a rallying Thomond Park but the fun was only starting.
Horacio Karamanos, aboard Thomond Park, claimed foul against Smile Bryan and Samy Camacho for bumping down the lane. The stewards took a look and tossed Karamanos’s beef. Smile Bryan paid $11.00 to win and keyed a $63.00 exacta with the
8-1 Thomond Park. Both Ryan runners were bred in Kentucky by Irish interests – the winner by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm and the runner-up by Shane Ryan’s Castleton Lyons.
Ryan also had a pretty good weekend at his Monmouth Park base, where he picked up two victories. The first came in Friday’s fourth race, a first-level statebred allowance sprint on the main track, with Atlantic Six Racing’s Counterfeitcurency. The 4-year-old gelding had been something of a nibbler since breaking his maiden on the Jersey shore back in October 2020. Here, he contested the pace under Camacho, dusted off his pace challenger around the far turn and cruised on in by four lengths. He paid $6.40 in U.S. legal tender.
On to Sunday, Ryan won second time off the claim with Eagle View’s Shanghai Warrior, a 3-year-old gelding. Ryan took him off Mike Dini for $16,000 last month, ran him once to see what he had and then put him in here for $7,500. He raced in the second flight off a pretty hot pace and picked up the pieces in deep stretch to score by one and one-half lengths. Ademar Santos had the mount on the $40.00 surprise, which went unclaimed.
LYNCH OPENS A SALOON
Cathal Lynch put in appearances in the winner’s circles at Delaware and Monmouth Parks. In Delaware Park’s first race on Wednesday, Legion Racing’s Saloon, a 2-year-old colt, began recouping his $100,000 purchase price at the Timonium sale in May. The race was as good as over a quarter mile along as Mychel Sanchez allowed Saloon to open up by five lengths, a margin he maintained to the wire. Saloon paid $3.20 to win.
Lynch was back at Delaware Park for Thursday’s sixth race, which he won with his own Flat Out Flying. Sanchez allowed others to do the dirty work early, then resolved the issue approaching the quarter pole when he gave the 6-year-old gelding a free rein. They reached the wire six lengths in front in this starter allowance route on the main track. The win price was $2.60. Flat Out Flying has now won 13 of 38 career starts.
With 12 victories from 29 starts, Lynch is second in the trainers standings at Delaware. Jamie Ness, with 21 wins from 71 starts leads the pack.
Lynch then vanned Charles Biggs’s Above the Limit to Monmouth for Friday’s third race, a claiming sprint on the turf. Paco Lopez got the 4-year-old filly out of the gate in good order and quickly established a two-length lead, which was never seriously threatened. She won by three lengths and returned $9.40 at the windows.
We reported three weeks ago that Geoff Mulcahy notched his first win of 2022 with Cambus-Kenneth Farm’s Henrietta Topham. The 4-year-old homebred filly came right back in Thursday’s fifth race at Horseshoe Indianapolis, wiring a field of first-level allowance routers over the lawn. Gage Holmes brought her in nearly three lengths in front for a $3.60 win mutuel.
Declan Carroll is slowly gaining traction at Woodbine, where he won four races in the last racing week. He rode Everyday Magic ($6.60 to win) to a three-length triumph for Mark Casse in Thursday’s seventh race. He was blanked on Friday but came back on Saturday to score with first-time starter Millie Girl ($13.50) for Catherine Day-Phillips.
Casse had another winning mount for Carroll in Sunday’s fourth race in War Strategy ($13.20). Carroll fell a neck short in the fifth race, then combined with Casse once again aboard Souper Dormy ($17.40) in the sixth race. Carroll is the son of County Meath native David Carroll, who is now an assistant to Casse.