Inspector Lynley puts all pieces together in Saranac
Stuart S. Janney and Phipps Stable’s Inspector Lynley didn’t have the best of trips when a closing third in the July 16 Kent (G3) at Delaware Park, but the promising turf sophomore enjoyed much better luck in Saturday’s $300,000 Saranac (G3) at Saratoga.
Getting the garden passage this time with Joel Rosario, the 7-1 chance drafted in a ground-saving spot in the slipstream of pacesetter Ray’s the Bar through splits of :23.87, :48.46 and 1:12.54. The 8-5 favorite, Camelot Kitten, launched his bid turning for home and grabbed command.
Inspector Lynley had to wait to angle off the fence for some anxious moments. Rosario finally had the opportunity to come around, and Inspector Lynley quickened stylishly. Rattling off his final furlong in :11.17 according to Trakus, the Shug McGaughey pupil nabbed Camelot Kitten in time by a head. Inspector Lynley sped nine furlongs on the firm inner turf in 1:46.68, about a second off the course record of 1:45.61 held by his dam, multiple Group 3 heroine Criminologist.
Camelot Kitten, who was spotting the winner five pounds, ran a fine race in defeat. Third-placer Isotherm moved forward in his second start off a layoff, but had every chance and was simply outfinished. Ray’s the Bar, historically a closer, didn’t adjust to the change in tactics and wound up fourth. Strike Midnight and Call Provision rounded out the short field, and Copingaway was scratched.
As an April 22 foal with his pedigree – a son of Lemon Drop Kid and Criminologist, who peaked as an older distaffer – Inspector Lynley has shaped as the type to thrive over time. It’s a very positive sign that he’s already scored a graded breakthrough at Saratoga at three, and he’ll only get better from here.
Quotes from Saratoga
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey on Inspector Lynley: "I'm very pleased, this horse was coming into the race really well and trained really well. He had some excuses his last three starts. Last start, he was wide in the Kent and the horse who beat him (American Patriot) came back and ran well (when third) in the Secretariat (G1), so I thought that legitimized that race.
"He had a good work on the turf here last Friday and I really had some confidence going in. But you always like to be able to find it if they're good enough. I didn't want to run him in a mile and a sixteenth.
"We didn't figure there would be a lot of pace, in fact there was more than I thought there would be. He broke sharp from the inside so I said (to Joel Rosario) to hold your position. I think he'll put you where you want to be.' He then swung him out around the eighth pole, that worried me a little bit. But that's where he really kicked in. This horse wants to run as far as you want to run him."
Winning rider Joel Rosario: "He broke beautifully out of the gate. There wasn't a lot of speed and I thought that I could hold my spot. He was very game and not too far from the pace, and I thought the race would not be that fast and he is looking at stronger horses now. He is now putting it all together."
Later, Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Suffused also notched a first graded tally in the $200,000 Glens Falls (G3) – and handed meet-leading jockey Jose Ortiz his fifth win on the card. Ortiz now has 61 wins going into Sunday’s penultimate day at the Spa, nine clear of brother Irad Ortiz Jr.
The Glens Falls was significant in another respect for Suffused. The Bill Mott trainee appeared to require a marathon when romping in the 1 15/16-mile Belmont Coronation Invitational on June 9, in course-record time for the rare trip. Cutting back to 1 1/2 miles for the August 6 Waya (G3), Suffused rallied a fraction too late and missed by a head to Guapaza. Their rematch in the Glens Falls gave Suffused one less furlong to work with, but she produced a sparkling turn of foot off pedestrian splits. Off this evidence, Suffused is becoming a more polished performer, deserving of a crack at the Flower Bowl Invitational (G1).
Suffused rated about five lengths behind early as Photo Call set a more sedate pace than in the Waya, recording fractions of :25.03, :50.01, 1:15.21, and 1:39.62 on the inner course. German shipper Arles tracked in second, while 5-2 favorite Guapaza crept into third. Photo Call dug in down the lane, but couldn’t maintain her advantage as Arles bore down.
Wider out, Suffused was levelling off beautifully and gaining fast. It took a blistering final quarter in :21.81 (per Trakus) for Suffused to close the deficit, and she collared Arles late to win going away by three-quarters of a length. The slight 5-2 second choice clocked 2:13.55.
Miss Chatelaine, always in touch, reported home a further two lengths astern in third. Photo Call wound up fourth, while Guapaza failed to fire in sixth. The favorite’s stablemate, Ball Dancing, threw in a clunker in ninth of 10. Thus their trainer, Chad Brown, was uncharacteristically out of luck in both of the day’s turf stakes.
Photo courtesy NYRA/Coglianese Photography