Sent off as the second longest shot on the board at odds of 5-1, Amy Dunne's Leinster emerged victorious holding off Disco Partner to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Rusty Arnold, who captured the $750,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational presented by Encore Boston Harbor on Friday with Concrete Rose, Leinster extended his streak to three wins, all in turf sprints, with the impressive score.
Breaking alertly from post 6 with Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Leinster settled in third position as Rocket Heat led the field of five through swift fractions of 20.82 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half going in 43.01 on the firm Mellon turf course.
At the quarter-pole, Rocket Heat continued to remain in front as Disco Partner charged towards the leader on the rail with Leinster swiftly advancing three-wide. Hooking up in deep stretch, Leinster quickened in the final yards to win by three-quarters of a length.
He completed the 5 ½ furlong distance in 1:00.23, setting a course record and besting Lady Shipman's previous mark of 1:00.46 from 2015.
“It set up perfect,” said Gaffalione. “The speed went on and we were able to track them in a nice stalking position. When I asked him for run coming into the stretch, he kicked on and finished the job nicely. He galloped out well. He seems to keep improving every time he runs. Rusty and his team have done a great job with him.”
Returning $13 for a $2 win wager, the Majestic Warrior colt bred by Gryphon Investments in Kentucky boosted his earnings to $300,111.
“This weekend has been good,” said Arnold. “This horse just got good when we started sprinting him on the grass. He's 3-for-3. I guess it took it a long time for us to figure out what he wanted to do, but he figured it out. It's obviously a fast course and he seemed to like it.”
Following Leinster's record breaking performance, Arnold said the colt would likely make his next start back home in Kentucky in the fall in the Grade 3, $700,00 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint on September 7.
“The plan is to go to Kentucky Downs,” said Arnold. “We were going to go there anyway, we wanted to see how he fit before he did it, and he fit pretty well.”
Following Disco Partner in second were Pure Sensation, Wet Your Whistle and Rocket Heat. World of Trouble was scratched.
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