Saarland, working prior to this year's Kentucky Derby.

Saarland, working prior to this year's Kentucky Derby.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Saarland Returns a Winner at Aqueduct

Making his first start since finishing tenth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 4, Saarland surged past pacesetter Short Hair in mid-stretch and continued on comfortably to the wire to win the sixth race at Aqueduct on Friday, a one mile allowance contest.

With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Saarland was fifth in the seven-horse field through a half mile in :45.62 before ranging up to second along the inside through six furlongs reached in 1:09.43 by Short Hair. Saarland was taken to the outside into the stretch, poked a head in front of Short Hair at the eighth pole, and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Time for one mile on a fast track was a sharp 1:34.32.

The victory was the first for the 3-year-old son of Unbridled since winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct last November. Between the Remsen and the Derby, Saarland finished second in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) and was fourth in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct.

Owned by breeder Cynthia Phipps and trained by Shug McGaughey, Saarland has now won three of nine career starts with one second and the $30,000 winner's share of the purse boosts his earnings to $292,660.