Honey Ryder, left, captures the Glens Falls Stakes ahead of Film Maker on closing day at Saratoga.

Honey Ryder, left, captures the Glens Falls Stakes ahead of Film Maker on closing day at Saratoga.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Honey Ryder's Sweet Trip Wins Glens Falls

(from Saratoga report)
Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder enjoyed an ideal trip behind a slow early pace and held off rallying favorite Film Maker to score a neck victory in the $109,200 Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on closing day Monday at Saratoga Race Course.

The victory was the 22nd of the meet for Todd Pletcher, who won his fourth straight (and fifth overall) Saratoga leading trainer title. It was also the meet-leading 15th stakes winner for jockey John Velazquez, who finished second in the overall standings to Edgar Prado.

Honey Ryder, a 4-year-old daughter of Lasting Approval, notched her fourth win from six starts this year. She ran 1 3/8 miles on the firm turf course in 2:14 2/5 and paid $6.60, $3.00, and $2.40 for her seventh win in 19 career starts. She earned $65,000 to push her earnings to $549,850.

Honey Ryder saved ground under Velazquez as Love Match controlled the early pace by loping through fractions of :25; :49 1/5 and 1:14 1/5 on the firm inner turf course, where the portable rail was out nine feet.

Velazquez had plenty of horse and an inside path for the stretch run, while Film Maker had jockey Todd Kabel's hands full trying to keep her straight as she rallied three-wide.

"I got the trip I wanted," Kabel said. "I had a hard time keeping my filly's head straight, and she didn't want to switch leads. That cost me some momentum."

"I started working my way out, but then the horse in front of me started drifting out. I went back in," Velazquez said. "I was biding my time and decided not to go around everybody. I sat and waited, and it worked out perfectly. You have to have the horse to do that."

"She's a filly we thought that, when she got older, she would get better and, when the distances got longer, she would get better," Pletcher said. "She's a filly that thrives going a mile and three-eighths. She had a beautiful trip, but she was game. Film Maker came to her, and she dug in. She's been a model of consistency. In a three-turn race, saving ground is obviously crucial. She's a filly that likes to be covered up."

Film Maker, coming off a fourth-place finish in the Diana (gr. IT) at Saratoga at the beginning of the meeting, returned $2.70 and $2.10.

Banyu Dewi, $2.80, was third, followed by A Lulu Ofa Menifee, Love Match, and Theater R.N.

"Obviously, we're disappointed, but we didn't lose by much," said Film Maker's trainer, H. Graham Motion. "The winner is a nice filly. I would rather lose in a tight race to a nice filly like Honey Ryder than to anyone else in that race. She didn't quite get there, and she had dead-aim on her."

Broad Hopes was scratched.

Racing resumes in New York on Friday with the start of the 38-day Belmont Park fall meet. First race post is 1 p.m.

(Chart, Equibase)