Perretti Racing Stable's Forty Tales earned his third straight stakes score and second grade II in a row when he produced a strong late run to take the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) by three-quarters of a length July 28 at Saratoga Race Course.
The 3-year-old Tale of the Cat colt stamped himself as a prime contender for the Aug. 24 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), the premiere sprint race of the Saratoga meeting, coming off a June 8 victory in the Woody Stephens (gr. II) at Belmont Park to secure the victory for trainer Todd Pletcher. Prior to the Woody Stephens, he won the Aug. 27 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by jockey Joel Rosario under a 123-pound impost in the 6 1/2-furlong event, 5-2 favorite Forty Tales was sixth in a seven-horse field early on as 3-1 second choice Mentor Cane rolled along through a dazzling :21.77 quarter.
Forty Tales then unleashed a powerful rally down the center of the track, blowing past Mico Margarita through three quarters in 1:09.03 en route to a final time of 1:15.64 on the surface graded fast.
"He found himself really far back early," Rosario said. "But at the five-sixteenths, you could really see he was moving. I didn't know if we were going to get there or not, but he really tried hard."
"He likes this distance," said Tristan Barry, Pletcher's assistant. "He does his thing; he comes from off the pace and runs them down. He seems comfortable doing that, and we're happy he likes it. Anytime you have a horse like that, you like to see a fast pace on the front end. When that happened, it set up for him."
Forty Tales returned $7.30, $3.80, and $2.90 while Mico Margarita brought $7.30 and $4.30 with Salutos Amigos paying $6.70.
Steve Asmussen, trainer of runner-up Mico Margarita, was pleased by his contender's effort off a victory in the July 6 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder Casino & Race Course.
"He ran really good," Asmussen said. "He came back pretty quick out of the Carry Back, but the horse came out of that race in good shape, and I thought he ran as hard as he could today."
Forty Tales, bred in Kentucky by the Randal Family Trust out of the Forty Niner mare Forty Love, was an $80,000 purchase at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling sale when consigned by Paramount Sales, agent, and obtained by J.J. Crupi's Newcastle Farm. His record now stands at five wins and a second from seven starts, with earnings of $579,789.