Sandor Clegame Wins Saranac

The Saranac (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
September 5, 2015

As trainers across the virtual world start looking forward to the September auctions, we got a reminder of the type of value that there might be in an auction with today’s Saranac result.   In the March auction, a young three year old named Sandor Clegame made his way into the ring, and he got some attention paid to him, but not a lot.  Smithtown Stables, however, was impressed with what they saw and were the proud winning bidder, getting the horse for just $8.770.  Under the new guidance, Sandor Clegame was changed to the turf, and started going longer, and the rest is history.  In six starts with Smithtown, he is (6-2-3-1) with his first graded stake victory after knocking on the door of one in his last two starts.  It is the first Saranac win for Smithtown Stables, a year after it was won by BC Turf champion Ashkalani.  J R Velazquez wins the race for the second time, and it was done in 1:45.48, slightly faster then Ashkalani did it, making it a new record for the stake.  Congratulations to all! Here’s a deeper look at the race!

1st- 1- Sandor Clegame (7/5)- The eventual race winner looked to run a race much like he did in his prior effort, where he came from off the pace.  Here, he was towards the back of the back, abut still in touch with them.  He kept himself three to four lengths off the lead into the turn and into the backstretch.  Stayed in this spot for a little while, but as they moved into the races final turn, and when just enough room opened up for him, Sandor Clegame began to showcase his talent.  By the end of the turn, he had moved into second, and had his eyes set on Mars.  In the stretch he did all he could do to try to catch him, but it still it looked like Mars would hang on.  He kept on coming, however, and when Mars began to look a little leg weary as they got close to the wire, J R Velazquez was certain to make sure Sandor Clegame could capitalize on the opportunity and get the win!  Sandor Clegame is a three year old gelding by Model American and out of Underwater Sunshine (by Mordred).  He was bred in New York by Night Mare Racing, and as mentioned, purchased by Smithtown Stables in the March auction for just $8.770.  Congratulations to all of the connections!

2nd- 6- Mars (5/1)- The LA Derby winner was the fastest out of the gate for trainer, Grimley, in his turf debut.  He was able to get an inside lane into the opening turn, and continued to lead the field into the backstretch, setting the quarter time in :46.74.  He gracefully led the field down the backstretch, pulling away by about two lengths and leading them into the turn.   Continued to lead by this distance for the run around the turn and seemed to be in good position at the top of the stretch.  Sandor Clegame was getting closer, but with a furlong to go, it seemed like Mars may hold on.  In the dying moments, just under half a furlong to go, it looked like he lost some of the power in his stride, and that would cost him the win.

3rd- 4- Congo Rhythms Run (13/1)- Started quickly for Oval Express Farms, leading for a little while before conceding the advantage to Mars in the turn.  Jockey E Trujillo backed him off the pace a length or two for the run into the backstretch.  Held his ground along the rail for this portion of the race.  In the stretch, the longest shot on the board ran well.  He would not having anything for the top two, as he never made up much ground on Mars and all he could do with Sandor Clegame was watch him go by.  After that though, Congo Rhythms Run put forth a game effort in this one to surprise some with the third place effort.

4th- 2- Viking Ballade (12/1)- The Delta Farms entry wasn’t too eager to run with the leaders early, and was content to trail the field for much of the race’s first.  As the run around the final turn began, R J Albarado made an outside move to try to bring him up to the front.  This move allowed him to get by Ponder and Panther Cat, but he would not have anything for the others in the race, and settles for the 4th position.

5th- 3- Ponder (5/1)- It was an average start for the Chili King Stables entry, running midpack in the first run and for the run down the backstretch.  He was able to keep in touch with the field just fine and actually looked like he might put in a bid to win every so briefly.  Then, in the turn, Ponder simply stalled out and did not do much of anything for the run to the wire.

6th- 5- Panther Cat (5/2)- Started well, right with the leaders for Maxmillon Farm.  As they made their way through the first turn, he started to back off a little from the pacesetting Mars.  Towards the end of the backstretch, it looked as though he would be resurgent with a move back to the lead.  On this day, there would just be no response.  Panther Cat was flat in the turn, and soon found his way to the back of the pack.  He did not have anything for the stretch, and finishes with a disappointing result.


##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Sandor Clegane Smithtown Stables Velazquez J R 1.45   11/4 1:45.48  
  Mars Grimley Trujillo E 4.90   21 1:45.57  
  Congo Rhythms Run Oval Express Farms Pennington F 13.00   3nk 1:45.77  
  Viking Ballade Delta Farms Albarado R J 11.90   41 1:45.84  
  Ponder Chili King Stables Leparoux J R 4.70   51/2 1:46.17  
  Panther Cat Maxmillion Farm Castanon J L 2.55   6 1:46.31  

Track: Firm

Time: :463  1:093  1:332  1:452

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Sandor Clegane 4.90 3.50 2.90
6 – Mars   4.50 3.60
4 – Congo Rhythms Run     5.70

$1 Exacta: 1 – 6 Paid 11.20

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 6 – 4 Paid 705.90

Scratched: None


— NS

Categories: Grade III

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