Whywhywhy answered a lot of questions Thursday afternoon with an authoritative 2 3/4-length victory in the Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga. The son of Mr. Greeley is trained by Patrick Biancone and owned by Biancone and Ouaki.
Wildcat Heir, the race's 8-5 favorite, held for second by a nose over the late-charging Spite the Devil. Posse, the 7-2 second choice in the field of nine was another 1 1/2 lengths back in fourth.
The victory gives Biancone a one-two punch with 2-year-olds early in the season as he is also the trainer of Zavata, winner of the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 29. Zavata wasn't entered in the Sanford, but is expected for the Saratoga Special (gr. II) on Aug. 14.
Whywhywhy made his winning move while well off the pace in the 89th running of the six-furlong Sanford. Jockey Edgar Prado had him off a hot early pace set by Hussar and Run Production, came wide into the stretch, and went to the lead with a strong stretch run. Final time for the race was 1:10.40.
Whywhywhy broke his maiden as a 7-1 shot in the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park on June 7. The chestnut colt was bred in Kentucky by James E. Jones and is out of the Quiet American mare Thorough Fair. He paid $11.80, $5.70, and $4.50. Favorite Wildcat Heir returned $3.80 and $3. Spite the Devil paid $8.40 to show. The 5-2 exacta paid $50.50.
Hussar and Run Production, breaking from posts eight and nine respectively, got the early jump on the field and quickly separated themselves from the field, getting the opening quarter in :21.74. They were tracked by New Farm's Wildcat Heir on the outside and Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) winner Posse along the rail. After a half in :44.99, the field began to tighten, as Prado made his move.
Whywhywhy got the lead as they hit the eighth pole in :57.80. Wildcat Heir, trained by Ben Perkins Jr. dug in as Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse continued up the rail, but they were no match for the winner. Hardwicke Stable's Spite the Devil came flying late to pass Posse and just missed catching Wildcat Heir.
"When the gates opened, I thought we were done," said Biancone. "But when I saw :21 and change, now we have a good chance. The plan was to sit behind, anyway. The first time he was beaten when we rushed him a little at the start and he forgot to breathe. He was just a baby. Now he's starting to be more mature. He got more experience in the Flash. I was concerned about giving four pounds to some very nice horses."
Trainer Ben Perkins Sr., trainer of Wildcat Heir, said he would likely point for the grade I, $200,000 Hopeful at seven furlongs on Saturday, August 31.
"He ran as good as he could," said his jockey, Jerry Bailey. "He's got a problem getting all of his air. I could feel it and hear it."'
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens liked the performance of his charge, Spite the Devil.
"We are really proud of the horse," Jerkens said. "It was great to see this horse finish third, because we bred the horse ourselves. Having him finish third makes it really special. If anything, it looks like he can go longer."
Posse, who made a decisive move between horses to take a brief lead in the lane, was fourth, followed by Title Contender, Run Production, Hear No Evil, Raise an Emblem and Hussar.