Breaking from post three, Desert Party was last after a half-mile but got revved up approaching the top of the stretch. The 2-year-old son of Street Cry caught pacesetter Officer Ipod after they straightened away and easily pulled away for a 3 1/4-length victory. He completed six furlongs on a muddy, sealed track in 1:12.23.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Officer Ipod held second, three-quarters of a length in front of Vineyard Haven. Phosphorescent was last. Dagnabit, Bullion Cache and Notonthesamepage were all scratched in Saratoga’s first test for top 2-year-old colts.
Desert Party won for the second time in as many starts. He captured his racing debut June 22 on the Arlington Park Polytrack, taking that 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event by 3 3/4 lengths under Rene Douglas.
Originally bought by Paul Pompa Jr. for $425,000 at the Keeneland September 2007 yearling sale, Desert Party was offered at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-olds in training sale of 2008 in February. Bred in Kentucky by David Smith and Steven Sinatra, he is out of the Tabasco Cat mare Sage Cat. Eoin Harty is the trainer.
Breaking from post one, Officer Ipod took the early lead, posting fractions of :22.78 and :46.66. Desert Party was close up after the first quarter but dropped back to last midway around the turn. He moved through along the rail nearing the stretch and took charge after steady encouragement from Prado.
"It was just a matter of time when I could find a hole - even if the rail didn't open up I think he still would have won the race," Prado said. "He was very responsive. He came running out of the gate and relaxed beautifully. When I pressed the pedal again, he was there for me.
“(Harty and I) talked about the track earlier, but the track is nice and tight safe. He felt comfortable and that's why we went for it. I like this horse. I like the way he came back. He wasn't blowing too much. I like those kinds of horses. He really acted like an old pro. For only running one time, he handled everything very well.”
Harty said: "“This colt’s biggest asset is his turn of foot. I told Edgar not to hustle him away from there; to give him a chance (so when) you call on him, he can run for you.
“We’ll stay here and run him in the Hopeful (gr. I)" on Sept. 1.
Going off as the favorite, Desert Party paid $3.90 and $2.80. There was no show wagering. The exacta (3-1) returned $12.80.