Making the first stakes start of his career, Syntax took command in the stretch and held off Money Multiplier's closing run to register a half-length victory in the $200,250 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) Saturday, July 18 on the Delaware Park turf.
Matthew Schera's Syntax rated off the lead as 2-1 All I Karabout pressed early leader My Team through a half mile in :49.79 and 1:13.87. Entering the stretch the complexion of the race would change, as jockey Junior Alvarado asked Syntax for his best and the son of Haatef responded, surging to the lead in early stretch and opening a clear advantage near the eighth pole.
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Money Multiplier finished well but couldn't collar the victor while Tiz My Valentine, the longest shot in the race at 35-1, edged My Team for third. Syntax completed the 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds—his longest race to date—in 1:49.77.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Syntax made his stakes debut Saturday off a one-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race June 20 on the Belmont Park turf. Syntax started his career in Ireland, making two starts last year for owner Mrs. Orla Murtagh before being purchased by Schera and closing out his juvenile season with runner-up finishes in maiden races on the turf at Saratoga Race Course and Laurel Park.
Syntax returned $7 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.20 to show while Money Multiplier turned $2 to place into $8.40 for his backers and returned $5 to show. Tiz My Valentine returned $7.80 to show. Chief Kitten, the 2-1 favorite, raced last of seven throughout and finished there.
Bred in Ireland by Ringfort Stud, Syntax is one of two winners from as many starters out of the Halling mare African Moonlight, who also has produced stakes-placed Sir Gin. Syntax is the fourth stakes winner overall and first stakes winner in the U.S. for the Danzig sire Haatef.