Dismissed at odds of 11-1, Marshall E. Dowell's Scrappy T, shook away from an early pace duel and then held off favored Naughty New Yorker by a length to win Saturday's $83,175 Count Fleet for 3-year-olds at a mile and seventy yards.
The race was originally scheduled to be run on Jan. 8, but was re-scheduled when racing was canceled because of weather and track conditions.
A Fit to Fight gelding, Scrappy T had one win and four close seconds in five career starts entering the Count Fleet. This time, he got the win and returned $24.20, $9.00 and $4.90
With Lakeville Rush pressing from the start, Scrappy T and jockey Alan Garcia went the first quarter of a mile in :23 1/5 and the half in :48. While the pacesetters battled, jockey Jean-Luc Samyn and Naughty New Yorker began to make up ground from the back of the pack, swallowing up seven rivals.
But at the quarter-pole, just as it seemed that Naughty New Yorker's momentum would carry him to victory, Scrappy T dug in and opened up two lengths. Neither horse gave up, but Scrappy T had the advantage and hit the wire the winner in 1:42.41.
"He just keeps going the right way for us," said trainer Robert Bailes. "We were kind of hoping that someone would get in front of him and he could rate a little bit. But I was happy when I saw the half in :48."
Naughty New Yorker paid $4.20 and $3.30. It was seven lengths back to Tani Maru ($4) in third.