Intidab won the $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) -- formerly the A Phenomenon Handicap -- by a head on the track at Saratoga Wednesday, but was disqualified and placed second due to a bumping incident in the stretch with Successful Appeal, leaving the latter as the winner. Under jockey Edgar Prado, Starview Stable and John T.L. Jones Jr.'s Successful Appeal rated in third behind dueling pacesetters Texas Glitter and Falkenburg through early fractions of :21.73 and :44.69, before hooking up with Intidab for a stretch-long duel. During the stretch run, Intidab -- under right handed urging from Robbie Davis -- came in on Successful Appeal, causing the disqualification. Chasin' Wimmin finished third, followed by Falkenburg, Western Expression, Silky Sweep, Brutally Frank, and Texas Glitter. Over a fast track, the six furlongs was completed in 1:09.21.
"I don't think the bumping could have been prevented," said Davis. "This horse sulks when he gets hit. I popped him once when he had trouble changing leads; that's when he came in. There was a little contact before the wire, but it could have gone either way."
As the favorite, Successful Appeal paid $5.20, $3.40, and $2.80. The winning exacta combination returned $14.20.
Four-year-old Successful Appeal (Valid Appeal--Successful Dancer, by Fortunate Prospect) won the six-furlong Amsterdam (gr. III) at Saratoga last year before finishing third in the seven-furlong King's Bishop (gr. I). After winning the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. II) at Turfway Park, he completed his sophomore season with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). The John Kimmel trainee returned to the races in June, winning a Belmont Park allowance race.
"He wasn't really pushed to the max in his last race, so this was a big test," said Kimmel. "We'll probably go to either the Forego (gr. II) or the Vosburgh (gr. I). I feel very happy and fortunate to be a winner."
Successful Appeal earned $120,000 for the win, his eighth in 19 career starts. He was bred in Florida by Harry T. Mangurian Jr. (Chart, Equibase