Sporty Greyjoy Takes The Harlan

Harlan (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
GP- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
December 16, 2017

With this article, another year of writing on the SRF comes to an end for me since we are heading into our holiday break. It is good to have the break when so many of these races look like every other one lately, but it is a joy to bring them to you. Hopefully everyone out there has an enjoyable holiday season. For Saratoga Stud, it can also be a sporty season of joy, as his three year old gelding Sporty Greyjoy picks up the victory in the fifth running of the Harlan at GP. He was our pick to win as well, and did not let us down as he scores his third win in four starts. It’s the first win in the stake for the trainer, but the second for jockey E J Zayas, who wins it for the second year in a row. The time of the win was 1:41.51, the second quickest in the history of the stake. Let’s take a look at it now.

(1/4 Mile- :23.77)- From the gate, the three quickest would be Grounded In Reality (Mb Stables), Level Charge (Wolfs Den), and First Rebellion (Hambletonian Stable). They got at it a little into the opening turn, before it is First Rebellion emerging as the quickest. Grounded In Reality and Level Charge remain in close pursuit, and Gentile Il Buono (Sc Lanciano) joins them on the rail. It’s another length back to Starlight King as Nakamura Stables looks to win another stake at GP today. The eventual winner, Sporty Greyjoy, from Saratoga Stud and Rajivs Roadblock (Night Rider Stables) are side by side for fifth, and they are four lengths from the front. Trailing are Graytefu; Jack (Gdp Inc), Lucky Sexxyflex (Estero Farms), and Turn Ninnie (TwinTowersRacing).

(½ Mile- :47.75)- The second quarter of the race is completely uneventful as the field remains in the same order, and no one is making much of a move forward. The pace slows down a little bit here in the backstretch, but there is no drama here. So, let’s just move on.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- First Rebellion leads the way down the backstretch and into the turn, but by the time they hit the top of the stretch, the steady stride of Grounded In Reality takes over the top spot. He does this by running to the outside of First Rebellion, but he still has Level Charge keeping up with him, and they are your top two threats. Starlight King was looking for a lane on exit of the turn, but did not have the room, and did not want to take it wide right here. He’ll be content to follow Grounded In Reality. While all this was going on, Sporty Greyjoy continued to have a clear outside lane, and he would handle the turn exceptionally well and advance his position to now be within two lengths. It would be a wide trip, but his lane was clear for the stretch. Gentile Il Buono was starting to lose touch with the frontrunners, and everyone else in this field was not posing a threat.

(Finish- 1:41.51)- With a furlong to go, Grounded In Reality looked to be in good shape, and even with half a furlong to go it seemed as though he’d be able to hang on. Sporty Greyjoy started to loom as a threat late in the stretch, but only very close to the wire did it look like he could win this thing. That never-say-die effort by the winner was pretty impressive, and Sporty Greyjoy just gets up in time to nose out Grounded In Reality, who did nothing wrong in his second place effort. Third place Level Charge had a strong performance too, and finished less then a length from the win, and Starlight King was not far behind him, either. After those four, you have the pace setter First Rebellion dropping to fifth and late running Grayteful Jack getting sixth. They were about two lengths from the winners. Gentile Il Buono had no stretch response, but still finishes ahead of the three who had no race response: Turn Ninnie, Lucky Sexxyflex, and Rajivs Roadblock.

About The Winner: Sporty Greyjoy, trained by Saratoga Stud, and ridden by E J Zayas is a three year old gelding by Theon Greyjoy and out of Sporty Helen. He was bred in California as a first quarter two year old by Aml Racing, and acquired by the current trainer in December 2016 in private sales from Rouge River Stables, for just $8.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 12 starts, his second stake win, and first graded stake win. His career earnings are now $322.480.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Sporty Greyjoy Saratoga Stud Zayas E J 6.80   1no 1:41.51  
  Grounded In Reality Mb Stables Leparoux J R 5.80   21 1:41.53  
  Level Charge Wolfs Den Pino M G 4.35   31/2 1:41.73  
  Starlight King Nakamura Stables Jaramillo E 33.20   43/4 1:41.84  
  First Rebellion Hambletonian Stable Gaffalione T 8.00   5nk 1:41.99  
  Grayteful Jack Gdp Inc Boulanger G 5.40   61/2 1:42.04  
  Gentile Il Buono Sc Lanciano Landeros C 6.30   7hd 1:42.18  
  Turn Ninnie TwinTowersRacing Saez L 7.50   8no 1:42.21  
  Lucky Sexxyflex Estero Farms Juarez N 5.65   93/4 1:42.23  
  Rajivs Roadblock Night Rider Stables Colon L H 60.45   10 1:42.41  

Track: Fast

Time: :233  :472  1:11   1:412

$2 Mutuel Prices:

4 – Sporty Greyjoy 15.60 7.40 4.80
5 – Grounded In Reality   6.70 4.50
6 – Level Charge     3.80

$1 Exacta: 4 – 5 Paid 43.40

$1 Trifecta: 4 – 5 – 6 Paid 162.20

Scratched: None

Winner picked by NS

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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