Treadway Racing Stable's Sweet Reason, winner of the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course last summer, made a successful return to the races March 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack in the featured eighth race, a one-mile allowance event for 3-year-old fillies (VIDEO).
Trained by Leah Gyarmati, the precocious daughter of Street Sense tracked the tepid early pace in fourth under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. while racing in the clear. As the tempo quickened around the far turn, the bay filly commenced her rally but was forced very wide into the stretch by Jose Ortiz aboard Ballylee. Once straightened away, she was able to reel in the pacesetting Aqua Regia—despite a sub-:24 final quarter-mile—to prevail by half a length.
"It was a little nail-biting because you aren't expecting it to be quite that close," said Gyarmati, "but I thought it was great because she learned to gradually pick it up (and) sit there next to horses."
Sweet Reason was making her first start since a fourth-place finish as the 5-2 favorite in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. She was also runner-up in the Frizette (gr. I) at Belmont Park last September, overcoming a poor start and wide trip to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Artemis Agrotera.
"If we are going to try to make the Gazelle (gr. II, April 5), you don't want to come back off a long layoff and have her just lay it all out there and then have to run back in 30 days," Gyarmati said. "I kind of think this was perfect because it was well within her, (she) did it easily...she learned something, she came back happy, and, hopefully, the next step will be a forward move instead of just a level move or a downward move."
Sweet Reason returned $2.30, $2.10, and $2.10 while overwhelmingly favored at 1-10. Aqua Regia brought $3.90 and $2.90 while Wraith paid $4.20. Ballylee and Brown Mellisa completed the order of finish. There was more than $390,000 bet on Sweet Reason to show.
Sweet Reason, bred in Kentucky by Brent Harris, Beth Harris, and Darley out of the Mt. Livermore mare Livermore Leslie, was a $185,000 purchase by Jeff Treadway from the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Bettersworth Westwind Farms. Her record currently stands at three wins and a second from five starts, with earnings of $499,000.