Competitive Edge took command on the far turn and never looked back as he cruised to a 5 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga.
The 2-year-old colt is from the first crop of Kentucky Derby winner, Super Saver, who also sired the runner-up, I Spent It.
A field of seven went to the post in the Hopeful, with Competitive Edge sent off as the 3-5 favorite. Second choice in the wagering was I Spent It, who entered the race off a victory in the G2 Saratoga Special.
At the start it was Signature Cat that went to the front to set the pace. He was soon joined by I Spent It, with Competitive Edge just off those two in third.
As the field entered the far turn, Signature Cat began to fade as Competitive Edge moved into the lead. At the top of the stretch, the race was all but over, as Competitive Edge drew off through the stretch to win easily.
I Spent It held on for second, with Sharm another nine lengths back in third. Final time for the seven furlongs was 1:24.11.
Competitive Edge was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm LLC. He is trained by Todd Pletcher for the partnership of Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos and Michael Tabor.
Quotes courtesy NYRA:
Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Competitive Edge (No. 6): “The thing that's really cool for us is he's a son of Super Saver, and he's our Derby winner. To see him [Super Saver] getting off to such a great start at stud, to have a Hopeful winner in his first crop, it's kind of extra special for us having a son of Super Saver do that. I think I Spent It is a very good horse as well, as he showed in the Saratoga Special. I've had a close eye on him, being a son of Super Saver also, and it's kind of cool that Super Savers ran 1-2 in the Hopeful.”
What could be next for him? “The question is, since the Breeders' Cup is in California – again – do we want to get some two-turn experience before we go? The Champagne [Grade 1, October 4, Belmont Park] will be our first option, but we'll talk with the connections and make sure we're all on the same page.”
On having clinched his 11th training title at Saratoga: “I thought we had a really good start to the meet, I thought we had some really big disappointments at the meet; way too many seconds (25 through race 5 on Monday) for my liking. At the same time you cannot not be grateful anytime you come to Saratoga and win 26, 27 races, win the Hopeful, Coaching Cub, Alabama and Schuylerville. No matter how good you do, it could always be better, no matter how bad you're doing it could always be worse.”
John Velazquez, jockey on winner Competitive Edge (No. 6): “I'll tell you what, I was worried about one horse and one horse only. It was the horse Javier [Castellano] was on [I Spent It]. He ended up being close to the lead, so that was my chance to put the pressure on him and engage him and let him use his horse early on. Between horses, he had to get in there. Between me and the other horse inside [Signature Cat] he had to ride, ride, ride to stay in there. It took him a lot.”
“This one has a great talent. The only thing about this one – nothing bothers him. This colt, nothing tears his hair out, scares him or anything. He's so laid back, his future can be much better than the other ones. Like everything else, he has to stay sound. A great mind.”
Tony Dutrow, trainer of runner-up I Spent It (No. 5): “He has always had behavior problems. You could see in the paddock [when he was being saddled] he was a lot different than he was in his two previous races. He, obviously, got himself out of sorts today. I knew that wasn't what I wanted to see, but I didn't know how he'd react to it. So, today wasn't his day for a number of reasons. We'll work with him and hope for a better day this fall.”
Javier Castellano, jockey aboard runner-up I Spent It (No. 5): “He wasn't on his game today. He was fine in the post parade but in walking ring and in the gate, he was really bad. He freaked in the gate. Everything was wrong for him. He lost his mind. He broke out of the gate and he wanted to run off. He never was on his game today.”
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