Salutos Amigos forced wide, rallies to win Carter by a head
Salutos Amigos made another last-to-first rally to win an important stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday, this time the biggest of his career in the $400,000 Carter H. (G1).
However, rival Calculator didn't make things easy for Salutos Amigos. Continually drifting out into the 3-2 favorite in the final sixteenth, Calculator herded Salutos Amigos eight-to-nine paths off the rail.
Showing the fighting spirit, Salutos Amigos kept coming with his late bid and was just up to edge Calculator by a head in a time of 1:23.15 over a muddy track. Under Cornelio Velasquez, he paid $5.10 to win.
Calculator finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Dads Caps, who held a three-length in mid-stretch but tired along the inside. Dads Caps had seized control from Green Gratto, who set a pace of :22.36 and :45.06, but faded late in his bid to win an unprecedented third straight Carter.
Owned by trainer David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stable, Salutos Amigos has eight stakes victories, six of which have come at Aqueduct. The six-year-old gelded son of Salute the Sarge has previously taken two editions of the Tom Fool H. (G3), the Fall Highweight H. (G3), the Toboggan, and the Gravesend at the Big A, as well as the Bold Ruler H. (G3) at Belmont and the Mr. Prospector at Monmouth Park.
He's been less successful outside Queens, though he has placed in six other graded events, including the Midnight Lute (G3) and Palos Verdes (G2) earlier this year at Santa Anita, the site of this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). Salutos Amigos was a belated fifth in last year's Sprint at Keeneland.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens has a nice three-year-old sprinter on his hands in Unified ($4.40), who made it two-for-two in the $300,000 Bay Shore (G3) on Saturday. Sent to the lead by Jose Ortiz, the son of Candy Ride led by a half-length over King Kranz for a half-mile before drawing off from that rival to win by three lengths in a time of 1:22.86. A three-length winner of his debut at Gulfstream February 21, Unified is owned by Centennial Farms.
Earlier in the card, Kid Cruz ($5) wore down long-time leader Madefromlucky through the stretch to take the $196,000 Excelsior (G3) by a half-length under Jose Ortiz. Trained by Linda Rice, the five-year-old by Lemon Drop Kid covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.52 on a track labeled fast.
(Adam Coglianese Photography)