Making his first start in stakes company, front-running Tourist put away Storming Inti rounding the turn for home and spurted clear in the stretch to take the $100,000 Sir Cat Stakes on opening day at Saratoga Race Course July 18 (VIDEO).
Tourist's third consecutive victory came one race after internationally renowned jockey Frankie Dettori won his first race at Saratoga aboard pacesetter Aventure Love in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint.
Sent off as the slight 17-10 favorite over the multiple stakes-winning Storming Inti, Tourist posted a 1 3/4-length victory while completing the one-mile inner turf test for 3-year-olds in a swift 1:33.54 over firm ground. The clocking was just off the course mark of 1:33.42 set by L'Oiseau d'Argent in 2004.
"He's a talented horse," winning rider Joel Rosario said of Tourist. "It's nice to come on opening day and get a stakes win, I'm happy already."
Co-owned by Gary Barber and WinStar Farm, who bred the son of Tiznow out of the winning Unbridled's Song mare Unbridled Melody in Kentucky, Tourist is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) winner Ring Weekend ran on for second, 3 3/4 lengths clear of Storming Inti.
Tourist took four starts before graduating in February in his first try on grass at Gulfstream Park. Off four months, he returned June 8 with a front-running 5 3/4-length romp in a first-level allowance at one mile on the Widener course at Belmont Park.
"It didn't surprise me," Mott said of Tourist's success on turf. "The problem was, he ran just well enough on the dirt that we kind of kept trying him. We all want a Derby horse, right? We tried him one or two extra times on the dirt than, maybe, was to his benefit, but it's all coming together now."
Tourist became the 50th stakes winner for Tiznow, who stands at WinStar Farm.
Tourist dueled on the outside of Storming Inti for the early lead, moved a length clear on the first turn and maintained a solid advantage while in control along the hedge over Storming Inti and Javier Castellano. The pacesetter posted solid quarter mile fractions of :23.95, :47.24, and 1:10.23 and came out of the far turn in command. When asked for more, Tourist extended his lead to three lengths mid-stretch and coasted home in the final sixteenth of a mile.
Ring Weekend stalked the leaders in third or fourth before angling out at the quarter pole and finished willingly to be a clear second. Storming Inti weakened late after chasing Tourist all the way around. He held third by a neck over Cabo Cat, who came on in the drive after trailing the field into the far turn. Vigorish, J to the Croft, and Gourmet Delight completed the order. Pablo Del Monte scratched.
Carrying 118 pounds, the winner paid $5.40, $3.50, and $2.60 while topping a $31.60 exacta. Ring Weekend, in his first start since being pulled up in the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park June 15, returned $4.60 and $3.10 in his second start on turf. Storming Inti, losing for the fifth straight time after a four-race win streak for trainer Chad Brown, paid $2.50 to show.
Now 3-for-3 on turf, Tourist's overall record stands at 3-1-1 in seven races with earnings of $156,830.
The popular Dettori earned his first Spa victory with Aventure Love, who tallied by one length at 5-2 odds while running the 5 1/2-furlong sprint in 1:01.54 (VIDEO). The breakthrough win came in Dettori's second mount at Saratoga.
"It feels great. To get the first one out of the way, great," he said. "It was a great feeling when I crossed that line, you know? I felt like a kid again. It's a childhood dream to ride at Saratoga and I managed to do it. I only just started; I'm here until Monday.
"I was in Istanbul Wednesday night, and rode in England last night and slept at the airport. I got a morning flight and I arrived at 11 a.m. (in New York) but they lost my luggage. As you can see I got Rajiv's (Maragh) pants and boots and (Julien) Leparoux's whip, so I borrowed a bit from everyone. Hopefully my tack will arrive tomorrow; otherwise I got to take this lucky one back with me."
A 3-year-old filly bred in France by Pacific Ridge Stable, Aventure Love ($7.80) is trained by Wesley Ward for Ice Wine Stable. She is by Orpen out of Kshanti, by Diesis (GB).