Scat Daddy Nabs Teuflesberg at Wire of Sanford

Scat Daddy Nabs Teuflesberg at Wire of Sanford
Photo: AP/NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Scat Daddy caught Teuflesberg late to win the Sanford Stakes.
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Scat Daddy pushed his backers to the brink but delivered an impressive performance late to run down Teuflesberg in the final strides of the $147,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga July 27. Scat Daddy was the 3-10 favorite in the five-horse field of 2-year-olds while Teuflesberg went off at 13-1 odds.

The one-two finishers, both sons of first-crop sire Johannesburg, – the undefeated 2-year-old champion of 2001 – were separated by a neck.

Scat Daddy made it two-for-two at the two-day old meet in graded stakes for the trainer/jockey combo of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. They combined to win the opening day Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies with Cotton Blossom Wednesday .

Scat Daddy delivered an impressive performance in deep stretch as he had three lengths to make up at the eighth pole. Not many 2-year-olds have the talent to run down a rival like that, especially against graded company at Saratoga. He got the six furlongs in 1:11.18. Cotton Blossom's time in the Schuylerville was 1:11.63.

"The good news now is that he has an educational trip under his belt," said Pletcher, Saratoga's leading trainer the past four years who won his third Sanford. "He got dirt in his face and he was down inside and he was a little green. Once (Velazquez) got him outside and in the clear, he got into that big stride he's got. I didn't think he was going to get there."

Out of the Mr. Prospector mare Love Style, Scat Daddy was bred in Kentucky by Axel Wend. He was a $250,000 Keeneland September sale purchase and he races for James T. Scatuorchio. Scatuorchio knows a thing or two about fast 2-year-olds: he owned one in the form of More Than Ready  .

Teuflesberg -- a maiden, but fourth-place finisher in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) last time out -- shot to the early lead in the Sanford from post 2. Bagger Vance broke poorly from the rail and jockey Jose Santos apparently lost an iron coming out of the gate.

The leader, who carved out an opening quarter in :22.19, was chased early by War Wolf with Scat Daddy tucked inside. Turning for home after a half in :45.77, Scat Daddy still had ample ground to make up. In mid-stretch, Velazquez took Scat Daddy off the rail and he slowly cut into the lead. He really found his best stride in the final furlong and caught the leader at the line.

"We thought we had it for a minute," said Jamie Sanders, trainer of Tueflesberg. "This horse ran a huge race. We knew what kind of horse he was the whole time. We'll see a lot more of him as a 3-year-old. He's just now improving and he's coming into himself in every race."

War Wolf was 5 1/2 lengths back in third and was followed by Trip to the Bank and Bagger Vance. Based on a 5 ¼-length maiden win at Belmont June 3 while recording a Beyer Speed Figure of 93, Scat Daddy paid $2.60, $2.10,and $2.10. Teuflesberg paid $4.60 and $3, anchoring a $17.60 exacta. War Wolf returned $2.20.

"It was impressive what he did the last 50 or 60 yards," Pletcher said. "The Hopeful (gr. I, $250,000, seven furlongs, Sept. 4) will be the most logical thing."

The winner earned $90,000 for the victory.

(Chart, Equibase)

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