It wasn't the prettiest of starts for Sunset Ridge as she stumbled out of the gate for the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes. The unsightly beginning did nothing to detract, however, from the same aesthetically-pleasing result as her previous outings.
Alpha Delta Stables' homebred daughter of Algorithms remained unblemished in four starts when she recovered from her early bobble to register a handy 6 1/4-length victory in the Aug. 25 Fleet Indian Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
The 1 1/8-mile Fleet Indian was part of New York Showcase Day, featuring an all state-bred card that included six stakes worth $1.15 million.
Since debuting April 29 at Belmont Park, the 3-year-old has won her first three starts by a combined 26 lengths, including a 16 3/4-length romp going seven furlongs last time out at Saratoga Aug. 9.
Her 1-20 favoritism in the field of five Friday was well-earned, and her class wasted no time showing itself once she got her legs under her out of post 2. After tracking longshot Somekindasexy through an opening quarter in :24.19, jockey Jose Ortiz guided his unbeaten mount off the rail to the outside of the early pacesetter, where she stayed on even terms through a half-mile in :48.22.
As Somekindasexy backed up sharply, Sunset Ridge took control for good with about a half-mile left, turning back Bonita Bianca and opening up under right-handed urging to cover the distance in 1:51.28 over a track rated fast.
"She stumbled. When I got myself in the clear I rode her as the best horse," Ortiz said. "I stayed patient. When they came at me with half a mile at the three-eighth pole, I knew it was just me and them, so I went with them, and I opened up on them.
"I can't take all the credit, she's a very nice filly."
Trainer Chad Brown said he would likely start Sunset Ridge against open company for her next race and was most encouraged by the way she handled herself around two turns.
"She's been a terrific horse for us. Her record speaks for itself," Brown said. "She's a horse who has never disappointed us. I was curious to see if she'd handle the two turns. She always trained like she would, but you never know until they do it. She did well today, especially after missing the break and she had to be used a little bit and then got herself in a box there early on. I thought Jose did a great job getting her out of a potentially bad spot and back in the clear. The filly did the rest."
Bonita Bianca held for second with Somekindasexy third.
In other stakes on the New York Showcase card, Gold Square's 2-year-old colt Aveenu Malcainu became the 25th black-type stakes winner for his sire Into Mischief when he took the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. Trained by Jeremiah Englehart and ridden by jockey Luis Saez, he earned his second win in as many starts.
Chester and Mary Broman's 5-year-old mare Bar of Gold, trained by John Kimmel, halted a six-race losing skid when she took the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths on the Mellon Turf Course under a rail-skimming ride by Irad Ortiz Jr., while Team D's 4-year-old colt Get Jets,trained by Anthony Dutrow, prevailed in the $150,000 West Point Stakes Presented by Trustco Bank, going 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf.
Reddam Racing's 2-year-old filly Cause We Are Loyal shipped in from California to take the $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes by three-quarters of a length going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt for trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez.
Cobra Farm, R R Partners, and Head of Plains Partners' Twisted Tom picked up his fourth stakes win for trainer Chad Brown when the 3-year-old gelding won by 4 1/2 lengths in the $250,000 Albany Stakes going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt in 1:50.25