Trainer Roderick Rodriguez visited Saratoga for the first time a decade ago.
“I had only heard about Saratoga and I saw the kind of horses that run here. It takes a great horse to run here,” he said. “When I came in 2005 I was an assistant trainer. The last day of the meet I looked around and said, 'The next time I come here it's going to be with my own horse,' and thank God it worked out. Finally I did it, and I did it on my own.”
Off the Tracks was taking a significant step up in class, having graduated in style by thrashing a field of Gulfstream maidens in stalk-and-pounce fashion by a widening 4 1/4 lengths as the 17-10 chalk June 13. She had two works since that effort, a bullet half-mile over the tiring surface at Gulfstream Park West July 13 and a clever three-furlong blowout over this surface July 15.
No better than the fifth choice in the wagering, though backed down to 8-1 from her morning line of 12-1, Off the Tracks was away alertly and was ridden along to keep the pressure on Astoria S. victress Moment Is Right (Medaglia d'Oro) through a swift opening quarter-mile in :22.15. Popped the question by Luis Saez at the head of the stretch, Off the Tracks pushed past the pacesetter soon after and dashed away in the final furlong to take it by open lengths over Banree. Decked Out rallied up the inside to complete the trifecta, while the hot favorite Positively Royal (Bernardini) chased three wide to the top of the lane, but faded tamely and checked in last of the octet at 6-5.
Added the victorious jockey, “I feel amazing. I knew the filly was good, and she was coming from Florida. She had a good [debut] and was training good. When I got her in the clear, I knew she was going to win.”
Rodriguez indicated that Off the Tracks would likely await the GI Spinaway S. Sept. 6. (Click here) for a profile of the winning trainer from J.M. Severni).
SCHUYLERVILLE S.-GIII, $150,000, SAR, 7-24, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:11.27, ft.
1–#@OFF THE TRACKS, 119, f, 2, by Curlin
1st Dam: Harve de Grace, by Boston Harbor
2nd Dam: Ms. Cuvee Napa, by Relaunch
3rd Dam: A Penny Is a Penny, by Temperence Hill
($50,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-J. Stables (Guerrero); B-Lee McMillin (KY); T-Roderick R. Rodriguez; J-Luis Saez. $90,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $111,600. *1/2 to Concord Point (Tapit), MGSW, $669,260. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Banree, 119, f, 2, Macho Uno–Grand Glory, by Distorted Humor. ($80,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-Mark Dodson; B-Adena Springs (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward. $30,000.
3–Decked Out, 119, f, 2, Street Boss–Once Around, by You and I. ($45,000 Wlg '13 KEENOV; $75,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-Big Chief Thoroughbreds, LLC and Voss, Gene A.; B-Haymarket Farm LLC (KY); T-J. Keith Desormeaux. $15,000.
Margins: 3 1/4, 4 3/4, 1 3/4. Odds: 8.80, 5.80, 5.10.
Also Ran: Moment Is Right, Areolite, One Minute, Little Miss Miss, Positively Royal.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.