A ground-saving trip made the difference for Richard Santulli's Tannery in the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park May 25, when the 10-1 shot earned her first North American victory (VIDEO).
Benefiting from a judicious ride by jockey Luis Saez, the Irish-bred 4-year-old daughter of Dylan Thomas quickened through an opening on the inside heading into the final turn of the 1 3/8-mile event, then held off the late run of Anjaz to get the win by a length. Pacesetter Minakshi finished third, with 9-5 favorite Hessonite eased back sixth out of eight older fillies and mares.
Tannery, who came off a fourth in the May 1 Owsley Stakes going 1 1/4 miles at Belmont for trainer Alan Goldberg, broke well from post 3 in the Sheepshead Bay—which had been moved to the inner turf with the rail set at 27 feet on a blustery and rainy day. The eventual winner rated well for Saez in seventh as Minakshi took the initiative heading under the wire for the first time, followed by Starformer
about a length back and Mystical Star
Minakshi put up opening fractions of :24.25 and :50.23 over soft ground and racing against a stiff wind in the backstretch, with an understandably slow three quarters going in 1:16.45.
As Minakshi finished a mile in 1:41.49, Tannery commenced a strong rail-skimming bid. Hessonite, racing second, attempted to make a run on the outside but failed to fire. Tannery put away Minakshi in the first few strides coming off the turn, clocking 1 1/4 miles in 2:07.18, then held sway over Anjaz, who rallied well after lunging at the start. The winner finished in a final time of 2:20.17 under a 118-pound impost.
"Last time when I rode her, I knew she needed the race," Saez said. "I felt today that I could win. My filly was coming out on the first turn because the wind was so strong. I saved ground and I found the hole on the inside, and I rode her strong. Thank God, she won."
Tannery paid $22.60, $9, and $6.70 while Anjaz brought $16.60 and $9.50. Minakshi returned $7.60 to round out a $2 trifecta worth $3,225.00. Julie's Love
, Mystical Star, Hessonite, Strathnaver
, and Starformer completed the order of finish.
Bred by Grange Stud out of the Sadler's Wells mare Danse Grecque, Tannery improved her record to 5-3-1 from 15 starts. She won for the first time since taking the Kilboy Estate Stakes (IRE-III) at the Curragh in July 2012.
Tannery made her first start in the U.S. for Santulli and Goldberg last September, running third in the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT). She finishing eighth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) next time at Keeneland
, and fourth in the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct Racetrack
in November. She did not race again until the Owsley. The victory improved her earnings to $311,962.
"We have a turf course at Colts Neck Farm, but we've had such a wet spring and we weren't able to train her over it and had to work her on the dirt," Goldberg said via phone from New Jersey. "We try to have our horses fit, but with her first start of the year being a mile and a quarter, I didn't expect her to be completely ready. She came out of the (Owsley) great, and I thought she'd handle the conditions today."