Listen Here closed from far back with a rush in deep stretch to claim victory in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Park Saturday.
Trained by Bill Mott for owners Rodney Lewis and Kim Nardelli, who bred the Kentucky son of Gulch out of Listen Now, Listen Here covered the six furlongs in 1:09.58 on a track listed as fast.
Sent off as the 8-1 third choice in a field of eight, Listen Here, ridden by Pat Day, was last down the backstretch before moving up on the turn and making a bold bid in the center of the track.
Listen Here passed Boston Common, who had won a pace duel with 6-5 favorite Mayakovsky, and drew away easily. Bold Truth closed to take third.
Greatness, the 7-5 second choice, faded in early stretch after prompting the pace setters through fractions of :21 4/5, :44 3/5 and :56 4/5.
"This horse has been knocking on the door with seconds and thirds, noted Mott. "He's run some credible races, but hasn't really gotten the job done. Today, he got the pace he needed and Pat was willing to let him settle. It's been a long wait since last October.
"When they left the half-mile pole," Mott said, "I thought, `Oh boy, this might be a disaster.' But at the three-eighths pole, he started to pick up some momentum. When he swung for home, I said `Hell, I know how fast they've been going up front,' and with the momentum he had, it looked like he had a chance.
Mott said the next likely spot for Listen Here back is the $200,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Travers Day, August 24.
Patrick Biancone, trainer of Mayakovsky, had no excuse.
"I don't think the pace hurt him so much," he said. "He was cutting back from a mile-and-an-eighth to six furlongs. He ran a good race. You can't expect him to win every time. I'm not overly disappointed with the race; we were giving eight pounds to some horses in here."
Day added $90,000 to his career earnings total with the victory, giving him $263,967,888. Day trails the recently-retired Chris McCarron, the all-time leader in jockey purse earnings, by $383,790.
Listen Here paid $19.80, $7.80 and $5. Boston Common returned $9 and $6.10. Bold Truth paid $8.50 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $138.