But jockey Garret Gomez had the entire stretch to run down the pacesetter and that’s just what he did, as the 1-5 favorite eventually took over at the sixteenth pole and then pulled away for a 2 1/2-length victory in his final prep before the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 27.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Any Given Saturday ran the 1 1/8-mile in 1:48.31 to earn his sixth win in nine starts and his third consecutive graded stakes victory for WinStar Farm and Padua Stables. Before the Brooklyn, the 3-year-old colt by Distorted Humor , out of Weekend in Indy, took the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) in convincing fashion. He has now earned more than $1 million in his career.
“Any time you are a big favorite, you just want everything to go smoothly," said Pletcher. "Garrett said that when he left the gate, there was contact between two or three horses, and that got him up on the bridle. Garrett got him back and settled him.
"We thought earlier in the year that he was one of the best 3-year-olds. He got a foot bruise in the Kentucky Derby, but everything else has been perfect since. It was sort of a strange race: You don’t see those big gaps. He had to work a bit. We’ll go from here. All in all, we’re very pleased.”
Tasteyville, a 4-year-old son of With Approval-Rahfee, entered the Brooklyn with four lifetime wins, but none of them stakes. Ridden by Mike Luzzi, the Fox Ridge homebred came out of the gate firing, guiding an opening quarter in :23.69. The Patrick Kelly-trained gelding opened his lead by even more over second-place Any Given Saturday, running the half-mile in :46:12. At the top of the stretch Tasteyville was still running well and leading by a half.
But Any Given Saturday, with urging from Gomez, went three wide and easily went past the longtime leader in mid-stretch. Tasteyville barely held off Helsinki, who came from last to get third.
"We all got tangled (at the start)," said Gomez." I hit the side of the gate, and my colt broke outward. It took us about four jumps to get off each other. Once I got him settled back into a good rhythm, he (did) run a good race. He did have to overcome some things and he did have to make up some ground.
"He’s proved he likes it down there (at Monmouth Park) and hopefully, he’ll run the same kind of race (in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as he did in the Haskell Invitational).”
Any Given Saturday paid $2.30, while the exacta (2-3) was worth $11.80.