Crawdaddy digs in to get by rivals in the New York Stallion Series Stakes

Crawdaddy digs in to get by rivals in the New York Stallion Series Stakes

Coglianese Photos

Crawdaddy Two-For-Two After NYSS Score

New York-bred son of Girolamo won by three-quarters of a length.

After some difficulty loading into the starting gate, Gold Square's Crawdaddy became a stakes winner in his second start June 25 at Belmont Park.

In the $100,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes going seven-furlongs on the Widener turf course, the son of Girolamo  bested eight 3-year-old male rivals by three-quarters of a length to remain undefeated for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.

"(In his maiden win) he was the last horse to load in the gate, so he got out of the gate right away. Today he was in (post 1), so he was a little nervous," winning jockey Luis Saez said. "(I had) a little bit of a rough trip. We got a good position, but I had a horse in front of me and then he stopped on the turn.

"Finally we got a little room. When we came into the stretch, he responded very well. He's very game. He's a fighter."

Out of the gate Heldatgunpoint jumped forward to take the lead, as Crawdaddy raced off the pace in fourth near the rail. Heldatgunpoint led the field through six furlongs, posting fractions of :22.67, :45.62, and 1:10.36, and looked poised to pull off the upset. In the last furlong, Crawdaddy moved up along the rail and T Loves a Fight charged down the center of the stretch. 

With a final surge, Crawdaddy crossed the wire just ahead of Heldatgunpoint and Ricardo Santana Jr., while T Loves a Fight settled for third, with 2-1 favorite Reason to Soar in fourth. The final time was 1:22.83 on a turf course rated good. 

The winner paid $9.20, $5.30, and $3.50 across the board. 

In his debut, the dark bay colt won a six-furlong maiden race June 8 by 2 1/2 lengths on Belmont's inner turf. 

Bred in New York by Dutchess Views Farm and SGO Thoroughbred, Crawdaddy was a $110,000 purchase by Al Gold at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred preferred yearling sale. With two wins, he now has earnings of $103,200.

Two races earlier on the Sunday card, Lady Joan won the fillies division of the $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes, also at seven furlongs on the turf. 

"We were using that race (May 29 allowance at Belmont) to get her to move forward for this race," winning trainer Phil Serpe said of his runner, who ran second in her only other start this year. "She was impressive last year when she broke her maiden and, like a lot of 2-year-olds, she tailed off a little bit in the fall. ... We gave her some time off and she came back nice and fresh."

Hilly Fields Stable's homebred tracked just off pacesetter Lover's Key as the first quarter-mile went in :24.25. Into the turn Saez moved Lady Joan up alongside Lover's Key and was able to gain an advantage heading into the stretch, as the half-mile was timed in :48.12. 

Paz the Bourbon, off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight, attempted a mild rally from third in the stretch, but was unable to get by the two rivals ahead. Lady Joan hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Lover's Key. Paz the Bourbon held for third. The final time was 1:22.98.  

Lady Joan returned $8.20, $4.10, and $3.40 across the board. 

"The pace was a little slow, but she was right there, so I stayed there and made a run," Saez said. "She's getting better and better. Every time she runs, she learns something. Today she was fantastic. She had a good break and was right there and when I asked, she took off."

The New York-bred daughter of Courageous Cat  now has a record of two wins and two seconds from six starts and has earnings of $129,840.