Ironicus wins the Bernard Baruch Handicap.
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Ironicus wins the Bernard Baruch Handicap.
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Coglianese Photos

Ironicus Wins Bernard Baruch in Record Time

Eclipsed previous record set by Fourstardave in 1991.

Rallying from last, Ironicus  exploded through the stretch to take the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course in a turf course record time Sept. 7.

Video: Bernard Baruch H. (G2T)

Sent off as the even-money favorite, Ironicus was tipped out off of the hedge by jockey Javier Castellano turning for home before mowing them down, stopping the clock in 1:38.54 for 1 1/16 miles on turf labeled firm. Fourstardave held the previous record of 1:38.91 set July 29, 1991.

"I'm very proud of the track record, any time you can do something like that it goes on the horse's record and you can get somebody to maybe take a look at it," said trainer Shug McGaughey, who was winning the Baruch for the fourth time in his Hall of Fame career.

Ironicus rallied down the middle of the course to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths over Grand Tito, a 27-1 outsider in the seven-horse field. All Included finished third and was followed out by Vyjack, Constitution , Under Control, and Charming Kitten .

"He's a really nice horse," Castellano said. "Unfortunately, last time it was a slow pace, the rail was too wide, and I couldn't give the best chance to my horse (when second in the Fourstardave Handicap gr. II on Aug. 15). 

"Today it was a different ballgame—no rail, a little more speed in the race. I saved all the ground, cut the corner, and really exploded very well. The mile and a sixteenth helped a lot. Last time it was a mile. I think the extra sixteenth really helped me to find the kick. He's a nice horse. I'm looking forward to the Breeders' Cup (Oct. 31 at Keeneland)."

As expected, Constitution, who won the Feb. 7 Donn Handicap (gr. I) in his last start, set the pace while trying grass for the first time, covering three-quarters in 1:09.44, but turning for home he came up empty, tiring to fifth as the 3-1 second choice.

Ironicus paid $4, $2.80, and $2.30. Grand Tito returned $13.40 and $5.90, while All Included paid $4.90 to show.

It was the fifth win from 11career starts for Stuart Janney III's homebred Ironicus. The gray or roan Distorted Humor  colt has earned $573,790 in his racing career.

"We've thought he was a very good horse, and he continues to improve," Janney said. "His last couple of races have been terrific races. Last time, it didn't set up just the way we hoped. It was a slow pace and he had to go wide, and he still ran wonderfully. This time, he had a better trip, better pace, and he really finished beautifully. It was terrific."

After finishing 12th in his debut on the main track at Aqueduct Racetrack back on Nov. 30, 2013, Ironicus has hit the board in his next 10 starts since moving to the grass, winning five times. He also captured the Longines Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) from Pimlico Race Course earlier this year.