Saratoga: Designer Legs by DQ; Corfu in a photo
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- A rough stretch drive that resulted in a disqualification of the first-place finisher in the Adirondack was followed by an excruciatingly close photo finish in the Saratoga Special.
Long shot Designer Legs benefitted from the DQ of Who's in Town in the Grade II for juvenile fillies, and Corfu desperately held off Wired Bryan in the Grade II for juvenile colts.
Besides the disqualification, the Adirondack was further marred by the breakdown of Charmed Hour, who shattered her right front leg while trailing the field and was euthanized on the track.
That incident sent jockey John Velazquez to the deck, but he was able to walk off with a sore back to get back in the saddle and win on Corfu.
Asked when he lasted experienced such an extraordinarily compressed series of opposing events in one day, Velazquez said, "That doesn't surprise me. That doesn't surprise me. I've been on the very, very highs and very, very lows on the same day, so ... it doesn't surprise me."
Who's in Town, ridden by meet leader Joel Rosario, led all the way through the stretch while pressured from the outside by Designer Legs, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
Fiftyshadesofgold and jockey Corey Lanerie tried to come up the rail, but twice were impeded by Who's in Town, enough so in the opinion of the stewards to e taken down and placed fourth, giving the victory to Desgner Legs, who was a neck behind Who's in Town at the wire.
"It was game. She fought back and forth with that horse [Who's in Town]," winning trainer Dallas Stewart said. "Fortunately for us it came up the right way."
"What can I do?" said Michael Matz, who trains Who's in Town. "I was pleased with the way my filly ran."
Corfu won the Saratoga Special just 17 days after breaking his maiden at Saratoga.
"He needed to improve for this race, and actually he did it," Velazquez said. "To have only one race, to come back and hold on the way he did it today, I'm very proud. He held on, as fast as we were going all the way around, you've got to take your hats off when a horse keeps running like that."
"Wired Bryan ran a courageous race; we were just on the fortunate side of the head bob," trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Wired Bryan, attempting to be the first horse to sweep the Sanford and Saratoga Special since City Zip did it in 2000, fought gamely but couldn't quite get there.
"That was the closest thing to a dead heat that I've ever seen," said trainer Michael Dilger, a former Pletcher assistant. "We are very happy with him."
Velazquez had a chance to tie his own record for wins on a Saratoga card, but came up a half-length short in the finale.
Ramon Dominguez tied his record of six twice during last year's meet.