Blazing Fury, Balto Star Post Turf Wins at Saratoga

Blazing Fury, Balto Star Post Turf Wins at Saratoga
Photo: AP/Danny Johnston
Balto Star, shown winning the Arkansas Derby, won his turf debut on the Saranac Handicap undercard at Saratoga Sunday.
Blazing Fury's impressive late run gave him a decisive 4 3/4-length victory over Fast City on Sunday in the $112,500 Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga. Blazing Fury was three head lengths behind Please Me Doc after a mile run in 1:36.90 and then ran the final 3/16-mile in just under 17.98 seconds en route to the impressive win. Fast City finished second, a length ahead of Rapid Ryan in the field of nine 3-year-olds.

"He's got a strong closing kick," said winning rider Javier Castellano. "This is my first stake win here this summer and I'm very happy. I was on Pompeii (Go for Wand) and Exogenous (Alabama) and ran second in two Grade 1's. I love Saratoga."

The lightly raced Blazing Fury had made four previous career starts, the only win in a maiden race at Belmont Park on July 4. He benefited from the addition of Lasix two races back and showed considerable promise in finishing fast to be runner-up in an allowance race at Saratoga on Aug. 3. Blazing Fury carried 113 pounds over 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.88 on a turf course rated good and earned $67,500 for Caesar P. Kimmel and Ronald Nicholson. James Toner trains the son of Dynaformer, who was bred in Kentucky by Kimran Stable.

"Lasix might have helped, but not as much as getting his mind back together," said Toner. "When I ran him at Monmouth I told the kid to take a hold of him and let him relax. He relaxed all right -- he didn't do anything. We didn't try that any more. Javier (Castellano) had him in a good spot. He checked at the three-eighths pole, but he was still in a good stride and he didn't get a chance to run yet. When he got him outside to run, he finished well."

The winner returned $15.40, $9, and $7.10. Fast City paid $14.40 and $8.60, while Rapid Ryan was $14.80 to show.

"I want to run him in the Lawrence Realization (gr. IIIT) because I think a mile and a half will really suit him," Toner said.

Earlier on the card, Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Turfway Spiral Stakes (gr. II) winner Balto Star returned from a three-month layoff to win his turf racing debut. The 3-year-old son of Glitterman led all the way in winning the one-mile "non-winners of four other than" allowance race by 2 1/2 lengths, completing the distance in 1:36.10 under Pat Day. (Charts, Equibase)

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