Saratoga Day 6, 7/26
In his third start of the meet and only race of Thursday's card, John Velazquez claimed his first win since returning from a broken collarbone sustained June 16 at Churchill Downs.
“First winner of the meet,” he said. “It feels great to get it out of the way, get it done quickly and move on to the next day.”
Aboard Artest, who was running for the second time at this meet (the other a seventh-place finish in the first race on opening day), he bided his time off the pace in the $100,000 Quick Call before rallying at the top of the stretch.
The 5 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds had been led by Gentlemans Code and Drago's Best through fractions of 21.91 and 44.56. The duo began to pull away at the top of the stetch, but then Artest sprang into action to catch and pass the leaders, running off to a 1 1/2-length win.
It seemed he didn't mind running back so soon after his last start.
“Obviously, he liked it today, so he didn't care,” Velazquez said. “We were concerned, a little bit, coming back a little bit too soon. But she said, 'You know what, he didn't do enough in the race, so might as well let him do it today.' ”