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Big day for Commentator

By Phil Janack
Sunday, September 6, 2009

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Commentator, retired after running third in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap here on Aug. 8, got a warm reception from a Sunday giveaway crowd at Saratoga.

Wearing a black No. 1 saddle towel stitched with his name, Commentator walked around the paddock prior to the fifth race, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint named in his honor. Carlos Correa, an exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, was in the irons.

Owned by Tracy Farmer, Commentator led the horses out on the track for the post parade, jogging all the way to the top of the stretch before turning back for a ceremony in the winner's circle where he was presented with an edible key to the city by Saratoga mayor Scott Johnson.

Video replays of Commentator's wins in the 2005 and 2008 Whitney, and both Zito and Farmer were given framed collages from his career. An 8-year-old gelded son of Distorted Humor, Commentator won 14 times and earned nearly $2.1 million in a 24-race career. He was 4-for-7 at Saratoga, and undefeated in six tries against fellow state-breds.

"It's kind of bittersweet. I'm sad, but happy for him," Zito said. "It was incredible. I want to thank NYRA so much, and especially the fans of New York for everything they've done for us, supporting Commentator over his career. It's just been great.

"They know how hard it is to keep a horse going that long, and to run at that level. That's what he did. He brought his game every day. I can't thank the fans of New York and NYRA enough for everything that they've done, making this day very special. I have to thank God, number one, for giving me a horse like this that brought me so many great thrills. He won around the country, but he's a New York horse, and Saratoga is a special place for him."

 
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