Homebred Inspector Lynley benefitted from a perfectly timed ride from Joel Rosario and edged out favored Camelot Kitten for an upset in the $300,000 Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 3 at Saratoga Race Course.
The 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid , bred in Kentucky by Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Maria's Mon mare Criminologist, came off a third in the July 16 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park and got a far better trip this start. He added a graded stakes victory to his maiden score earned five runs back, in February at Gulfstream Park.
"I'm very pleased; this horse was coming into the race really well and trained really well," said trainer Shug McGaughey. "He had some excuses his last three starts. Last start, he was wide in the Kent and the horse who beat him (American Patriot) came back and ran well (third) in the (grade I) Secretariat, so I thought that legitimized that race."
From post 1 in a field of six sophomores in the 1 1/8-mile turf test, Rosario kept Inspector Lynley in a ground-saving position third along the rail. The pace was set by Ray's The Bar, who went a quarter in :23.87 and a half in :48.46 while maintaining a length advantage, then hit three-quarters in 1:12.54 before fading.
"He broke beautifully out of the gate," said Rosario. "There wasn't a lot of speed and I thought that I could hold my spot. He was very game. He's putting it all together now."
Coming off the turn, 8-5 choice Camelot Kitten made a big move from last early, but Inspector Lynley also accelerated after Rosario swung him out from his rail-skimming position, and nipped the favorite by a head. The final time was 1:46.68 on firm turf.
"He swung him out around the eighth pole; that worried me a little bit," said McGaughey. "But that's where he really kicked in. This horse wants to run as far as you want to run him."
Inspector Lynley went off at 7-1 and returned $16, $6.70, and $3.90. Camelot Kitten paid $3 and $2.40, and third-place finisher Isotherm brought $3.70. Ray's The Bar, Strike Midnight, and Call Provision completed the order of finish. Copingaway was scratched.
The fourth foal from Criminologist, and her only one by Lemon Drop Kid, Inspector Lynley is the mare's first graded stakes winner from two to race. She produced a Tiznow filly this year and foaled a Street Sense yearling now named On Patrol in 2015. Her Tiznow 2-year-old, Crime Lab, is in training with Niall Brennan Stables. McGaughey campaigned homebred Criminologist to four grade III wins for Janney and Phipps Stable.