Stronach Stables' homebred Green Light Go made short work his six rivals in Saturday's G2 Saratoga Special, settling off the pace and pulling away in the stretch run to win by 3 3/4 lengths as the 3-2 favorite. The juvenile son of Hard Spun, ridden by Junior Alvarado for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, covered 6 1/2 furlongs over Saratoga's fast main track in 1:15.68.
“He ran well without having to be on the lead and that was good to see,” said Jerkens. “The track has been so speed-favoring initially. I told Junior [Alvarado] to take him out of there and don't discourage him from running, but if someone really wants the lead, that it'd be fine. It turned out he didn't break quite as fast as his first start, but it worked out well. He sat in the pocket just nice up against the bridle. He didn't care about taking dirt which was really nice to see. He leaned a little in the stretch; maybe a little green, but I guess he's still learning, too. He had good purposeful works between races and has handled it. He was also composed in the paddock, so we might really have a nice one here.”
Tuggle was quick out of the gate, and flew through a first quarter in :21.71 while flanked by both Long Weekend and Zyramid. Green Light Go was back in fifth behind Iberico, but pushed up between rivals to be fourth heading into the turn.
Green Light Go went three-wide around the far turn and took the lead shortly after turning for home, despite bumping slightly with Tuggle when changing leads. Straightening out, Green Light Go easily pulled away from his rivals to win by 3 3/4 lengths. After being a bit slow at the break, Noose closed well to finish second while Tuggle held on to be third. Peruvian Boy finished fourth.
“I put him in the race and he handled everything very professionally,” Alvarado said. “I was just a pilot on top of him. I knew how much horse I had the whole way, and I was very excited at the way he was handling the kick back, and just rating behind horses very kindly. We knew how good he was and I trusted him there.”
Bred in Kentucky by his owner's Adena Springs, Green Light Go is out of the stakes-winning, G1-placed Pleasantly Perfect mare Light Green. Adena purchased her for $350,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November sale from Ned Evans. A winner on debut at Belmont Park, the Saratoga Special improves the colt's record to two wins from two starts for earnings of over $160,000.
“We'll talk to Frank [Stronach] and maybe we'll skip the [Grade 1, $350,000 Runhappy] Hopeful,” Jerkens said when asked about Green Light Go's next start. “The [Grade 1, $500,000] Champagne [October 5] seems a little more appealing than the Hopeful at the moment, but we'll see.”
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