Sweet Reason confirmed her love for sloppy going when the recent maiden winner splashed away to an easy victory in the $300,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 at Saratoga Race Course (VIDEO).
Taking the lead from pacesetting Bahnah while leaving the turn in the seven-furlong test for 2-year-old fillies, 5-2 second choice Sweet Reason galloped away down the lane under Alex Solis for a 5 3/4-length victory. The final time for seven furlongs was 1:23.42.
The daughter of Street Sense , trained by Leah Gyarmati for owner Treadway Racing Stable, rallied from 18 lengths back to win a 5 1/2-furlong off-the-turf maiden race in her debut Aug. 9 at Saratoga by 6 1/4 lengths in the slop. That race had been scheduled for turf but was moved to the main track.
"It was spectacular," exclaimed Gyarmati after her first grade I training victory. "Obviously, she ran impressively first time out when she won, but it was an off-the-turf race and the competition wasn't anywhere near what she faced today. So, this is thrilling to do what she did against horses that have proven they are very, very nice horses."
On Sunday in the Spinaway, Stopchargingmaria finished second, with Dancing House a distant third in the field of nine. Sweet Whiskey, the 9-5 favorite, pressed the pace on the outside but weakened to fourth.
Sweet Reason, a $185,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate, was bred in Kentucky by Brent Harris, Beth Harris, and Darley. The bay filly is out of the stakes-placed Mt. Livermore mare Livermore Leslie, a half sister to graded stakes winner Highland Gold. Sweet Reason, who was consigned by Bettersworth Westwind Farms, is a half sister to grade III winner Don't Forget Gil, runner-up in the 2009 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I).
Brazen Persuasion, expected to contest the early lead with Sweet Whiskey, refused to break for jockey Rosie Napravnik. Instead, Bahnah, who finished in a dead heat with Brazen Persuasion in the opening day Schuylerville Stakes, went to the front along the inside and carved an honest pace (:22.51, :45.78). Sweet Whiskey pressed the issue on the far outside along with Art of the Game and True Blue Nation, who gave way early.
Sweet Reason, seventh down the backstretch, advanced five wide on the turn to challenge leaving the bend as Sweet Whiskey and Stopchargingmaria took over from the weakening Bahnah. Sweet Reason quickly kicked four lengths clear in the stretch and finished up impressively after a light tap of the whip near the eighth pole from Solis, who rode the filly out.
"She was just doing her thing," said Solis. "She's so special. The other morning when I worked her, two horses broke off six lengths in front of her and by the three-sixteenth pole, she had caught them and blew by them. That's what she does. She is just having fun. She runs like she has done it her whole life.
"At the half-mile pole, she switched leads and I just let her do her own thing. At the quarter pole, she took the lead and I just kept on her a little bit to keep her occupied."
Gyarmati said Sweet Reason is not just a mud freak.
"She trains very well on a dry track," she said. "I'm sort of anxious to see how that translates into what she does in the afternoon on a dry track. But that's OK, this is good enough for me for now. I can live with this for a while."
Asked about registering her first grade I, Gyarmati responded, "Obviously, it's very, very exciting, and it couldn't happen to a better owner. Jeff Treadway has tons of patience. He's done all the right things as an owner. He's always done the right things for his horses, and it paid off."
Stopchargingmaria, trained by Todd Pletcher, was no match for the winner but was much the best of the rest under Javier Castellano. Godolphin Racing's Dancing House secured the show spot for Irad Ortiz Jr.
Sweet Whiskey, also trained by Pletcher, edged Designer Legs for fourth by a neck. Then came Bahnah, True Blue Nation, and Art of the Game.
"I thought both fillies ran well," Pletcher said. "It's a peculiar track, and both of them were trying an off track for the first time. I thought Sweet Whiskey probably didn't relish the going, but she kept trying to the end.
"Stopchargingmaria, I think, was second best on the day. The winner was very good, but I was pleased with the effort."
Under equal weights of 119 pounds, Sweet Reason paid $7, $4.40 and $3.10 while keying a $44.80 exacta. Stopchargingmaria returned $5.90 and $3.80, while Dancing House was $6.20 to show.
Sweet Reason earned $180,000 for the vctory, and has now banked $237,600.