Sweetnorthernsaint, in his second start since finishing second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. IT), defeated two opponents en route to victory in the $51,233 Odessa Stakes at Delaware Park Saturday.
With Ramon Dominguez astride, the 3-year-old Sweetsouthernsaint
gelding won by 8 1/4 lengths and returned $2.40 as the 1-5 favorite in the field of three. The beaten Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite earlier this year covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.04 over a fast main track.
Sweetnorthernsaint raced on the outside, just off the leader Master of Disaster on the first turn and took over coming out of the far turn after fractions of :23 3/5, :46 4/5 and 1:10 3/5.
In his first race after the layoff, the Florida bred trained by Michael Trombetta defeated two foes by 4 ½ lengths in a seven-furlong allowance at Laurel Park.
"When I let him get a breather just past the half mile pole, he relaxed so well on me that I was not sure what I had," said Dominguez. "I started getting after him a just a little bit just by hand riding him and he just slightly picked it up. But, when he felt the whip, he just took off and he galloped out real strong.
"The last time, being that it was first race after a layoff, I thought he ran great and he did what I asked him that day. Today, the challenge was a little greater and he had to push himself a little more, but still, he handled himself well. In both races, I thought he was great."
With the victory, Sweetnorthernsaint raised his career mark to five wins, a second and a third from 10 starts with earnings of $629,920.
Master of Disaster, with Mario Pino, finished second and Berrytime, with Alex Bieta, finished third.