SARATOGA SPRINGS - Favored I Spent It dove through a narrow opening on the rail and went on to post a decisive 2 ¾-length victory over Mr. Z in the Grade 2, $200,000 Toyota Saratoga Special on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, I Spent It tracked pace-setting Nonna’s Boy in third through early fractions of 21.67 seconds for the quarter mile and 44.65 for the half. Once straightened for home, the Super Saver colt found himself stuck on the inside behind a wall of horses, but accelerated through a gap inside the eighth pole when prompted by Castellano and was never threatened thereafter.
"There was nowhere to go; [along the rail] was the only way he had, so I took a shot," said Castellano. "The way he did it was brilliant. It was an impressive run; I think he’s the real deal. He’s a young horse and he’s never been here before. And driving him home, he went just through and opened up. Not a lot of horses can do that."
I Spent It’s winning time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:16.79.
"[In the stretch] he needs somewhere to go, he’s waiting, waiting, and when there’s a little hole there he goes for it like he’s done it a million times," said trainer Tony Dutrow while watching the replay. "And he hadn’t. I watched him gallop out and it was good. Not many horses [can push the button] like that. Isn’t it wonderful? That’s just wonderful. I don’t want to trade places with anybody."
In addition to the winner’s purse of $120,000, I Spent It collected $100,000 bonus from the New York Racing Association for winning a graded stakes after having broken his maiden in his debut in July at Belmont Park. With the two wins, the colt - for whom owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong spent $600,000 for in March - now has earned $245,000.
Sent off at 5-2, I Spent It returned $5.80 for a $2 win bet. His next start, said Dutrow, could be in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne on October 4 at Belmont Park.
Mr. Z, who was second to Big Trouble in the Grade 2 Sanford on July 19, was five lengths clear of W V Jetsetter.
"He’s a really good horse," said Justin Zayat, racing manager for Zayat Stables, of the runner-up. "He’s going to show it over time. He’s tough, you know? He takes his bumping every time. But you can’t beat Tony Dutrow; he keeps doing this to me. Two turns is what our horse needs. As soon as we go two turns, we’ll see a different type of horse."
Cleveland Sound was fourth, followed by Cinco Charlie, Stanford, Nonna’s Boy, Majestic Affair, Rod McLeod, and Lord Tyrion. Tizcano was scratched.