SARATOGA SPRINGS - Perretti Racing Stables’ Forty Tales came flying down the stretch to reel in Mico Margarita and draw away for a three-quarter length victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
It marked the third consecutive graded stakes win for Forty Tales, a 3-year-old Tale of the Cat colt who ran the Amsterdam’s 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.64 and returned $7.30 for a $2 win bet as the 5-2 favorite.
"He likes this distance," said Tristan Barry, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. "He does his thing; he comes from off the pace and runs them down. He seems comfortable doing that, and we’re happy he likes it."
Mico Margarita was a length in front of third-place finisher and 21-1 long shot Salutos Amigos. Mentor Cane, Declan’s Warrior, previously undefeated Rainbow Heir and Cat Five Hurricane completed the order of finish.
Winner of the Grade 3 Derby Trial and Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by NYRA Rewards in his previous two starts, Forty Tales was reserved at the back of the six-horse field as Mentor Cane led through blazing fractions of 21.77 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 44.49 for the half.
Mentor Cane began to drift out leaving the backstretch, allowing room for Mico Margarita to assume the top spot. Trailing by just under three lengths turning for home, Forty Tales swung outside under jockey Joel Rosario and steadily gained on Mico Margarita, finally surging ahead. The victory was Rosario’s fourth of the afternoon.
"He found himself really far back early," said Rosario. "But, at the five-sixteenths [pole], you could really see he was moving. I didn’t know if we were going to get there or not, but he really tried hard."
The Amsterdam was the fifth win in seven lifetime starts for Forty Tales, who increased his purse earnings to $579,789. Mico Margarita had won his two prior starts, including a 4 ½-length score in the Grade 3 Carry Back at Calder Race Course on July 6th.
"He ran really good," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Mico Margarita for Kirk and Judy Robison. "He came back pretty quick out of the Carry Back, but the horse came out of that race in good shape, and I thought he ran as hard as he could today."