Sayaad comes home strong to win the Forbidden Apple Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Sayaad comes home strong to win the Forbidden Apple Stakes.
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Sayaad Returns From Absence to Snag 'Apple'

Shadwell Stable's Street Sense colt dictated pace to win first race in eight months.

Front-running Sayaad, making his first appearance in more than eight months, drew away from favored Kharafa in the stretch to capture the $147,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes on a yielding turf at Belmont Park in an Independence Day feature July 4 (VIDEO).

A 4-year-old son of Street Sense  trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Shadwell Stable, Sayaad was piloted to a 2 1/4-length victory by Jose Ortiz in a time of 1:38.27 for a mile over boggy going. The winning colt, a $450,000 Keeneland November breeding stock sale purchase in 2010 from consignor Paragon Farms, agent, was bred in Kentucky by Vision Sales. Sayaad, who is out of the winning Time for a Change mare Time for a Crown, earned his third consecutive win.

"It was a great performance, said McLaughlin. "We were a little surprised off of an (eight) month layoff over a soft turf course. We thought he might get a little tired, but he was very game."

The scratch of Plainview and morning line choice Za Approval due to the turf condition left a field of five. Sayaad, the 3-1 third favorite in the one-turn event, quickly established control heading onto the backstretch and was allowed to roam on a two-length advantage after fractions of :22.83, :48.02, and 1:12.60.

Kharafa, chasing from second under Javier Castellano, drew close near the three-sixteenth pole, but Sayaad, responded when given his cue by Ortiz. Sayaad edged away while drifting out a bit before drawing clear in the final furlong under a drive. Kharafa, who toted top weight of 124 pounds as the 11-10 pick, was 6 1/2 lengths better than stalking Bio Pro and John Velazquez. Hamp and General Logan were a long way back.

"He was going along nice and easy," Ortiz said. "I felt the other horse coming, but when I asked my horse, he responded. He's a nice horse."

Sayaad was making his first start since taking an allowance/optional claiming race at seven furlongs Oct. 14 on the Belmont turf. In his race prior to that, the bay colt won the Dance of Life Stakes over the inner lawn at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 21. Improving his career mark to five wins and two seconds from 11 appearances, Sayaad boosted his earnings to $315,037. It was his second win from three tries on wet turf.

Carrying 122 pounds, Sayaad paid $8.60, $3.30, and $2.30, topping a $20 exacta. Kharafa returned $2.90 and $2.10. Bio Pro paid $2.30 to show.

Dawly was entered for the main track only.