Preferred Pals Stable's outsider Sort It Out spoiled the sophomore debut of odds-on favorite Galloping Grocer on Saturday, winning the $84,150 Whirlaway for 3-year-olds at a 1 1/16 miles by a neck over Naughty New Yorker.Scrappy T necked Galloping Grocer for the show.Sort It Out returned $41.40, $14.60 and $18.40 as he notched his third straight victory for trainer Allen Iwinski and jockey Timothy Thornton, coming off the pace to win in 1:43 1/5 on the fast track. A New York-bred son of Out of Place, Sort It Out is undefeated in three starts this year and has won four of nine starts overall. He has now won three of four inner dirt track starts.Galloping Grocer set a pressed pace of :23 1/5; :46 3/5 and 1:11 1/5. Second by a neck to Rockport Harbor in the nine-furlong Remsen (gr. II) at Aqueduct in November, Galloping Grocer had rightfully earned the 1-2 favorite's role having handled distance and two turns.At the head of the lane, Galloping Grocer opened up briefly, but Scrappy T came up the rail and Sort It Out came outside with their rallies to sandwich the favorite. Meanwhile, Naughty New Yorker was gaining ground widest of all."It was nice seeing four of them out there," said Thornton. "I asked him to run at the three-eighths pole, and he went on. He came up to Galloping Grocer and Scrappy T and wanted to lay on them a little bit. I got clear of them, and then Naughty New Yorker took a good run at us. He gave me another surge. He was, by far, the best horse I've ever been on and he's getting better and better every race."Larry Paltrowitz, managing partner of Preferred Pals Stable, said the possibility that Sort It Out would nominate to the Visa Triple Crown races was strong. Galloping Grocer needs to be evaluated, according to Schettino.
"He's got a pretty big gash on the back of his left-hind leg; I'll have to check him out," Schettino said. "I don't know if a horse stepped on him on the first turn. I didn't think they would go that fast that early. He got a little tired. He punched late, but just got a little tired. I'm most concerned about his back leg." Naughty New Yorker returned $5 and $4.80. Scrappy T's show was $9.70.Middle Earth, Tani Maru. Daddy Joe, Lieutenant Danz, Diamond Wildcat, and Thievery trailed.