Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.
Trained by Phillip Serpe for Inniscarra Stable, Chowder's First returned $15, $3.80, $2.40, with favored West Virginia paying $2.40 and $2.10. Pay Attention paid $2.20. Wednesday marked the race's debut at Saratoga Race Course. It was previously run at Belmont Park
After breaking first, Chowder's First raced up close to early leaders Icicle Charlie and West Virginia, who registered a quarter-mile in :23.94 and a half-mile in :48.51. Icicle Charlie began to tire and gave way after getting three-quarters in 1:13.44, allowing West Virginia to take over and lead the field of eight down the stretch. Chowder's First moved out three wide rounding the turn for home and began a battle with West Virginia down the lane turning the contest into a two-horse race The duo registered a mile in 1:38.34. As the wire approached West Virginia and Chowder's First both dug in gamely with Chowder First pulling away by a neck.
"He had throat surgery done over the winter; unfortunately, when you bring horses to Florida, they don't like the climate there," Serpe said. "He was probably really happy to get out of there. He started to come to himself when he finished third in the Times Square and were pretty happy with that effort. He's moving forward."
Wonderland Breeding bred Chowder's First in New York from the Unbridled mare Stay Loose. The win was the third in eight lifetime starts for Chowder's First, who last win had come in a May 19 state-bred allowance race at Belmont.