Fort Larned formidable in Whitney at Saratoga
Report: USA, Saturday
Saratoga: Whitney Invitational Hcap (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+
FORT LARNED (Ian Wilkes/Brian Hernandez) is a new name on the Grade 1 winners' roster after stalking his way to victory over a solid field in the Whitney.
Having raced in third in the $750,000 event, the four-year-old son of E Dubai put the race to bed in the stretch, having enough in hand to hold Bill Mott's late-running pair, the favourite Ron The Greek (gave 3lb) and Flat Out.
Fort Larned, a 7.2-1 shot, powered four lengths clear entering stretch only for the closers to reduce the winning margin to a length and a quarter. The final time was 1m47.76s.
Winning jockey Brian Hernandez, who is based in Kentucky, was making his Saratoga debut.
"On the second turn I knew I had a lot of horse," he said. "I just stayed out of his way and he toted us around there and took us home. I had a lot of confidence in him."
Also on Saturday
Saratoga: Prioress Stakes (Grade 1) 6f, dirt, 3yo fillies
Emma's Encore (Allen Jerkens/Junior Alvarado), who cost just $2,000 as a yearling, provided his veteran trainer with his first Grade 1 success since 2007.
Mountaineer: West Virginia Derby (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo
With Breeders' Cup winner Hansen unable to maintain his effort after being pressed on the pace, Macho Macho (Steve Asmussen/Corey Nakatani) to give his trainer a fourth victory in this $750,000 event.
Del Mar: Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, AW, 3yo+, f/m
Include Me Out (Ron Ellis/Joe Talamo) will be heading for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic after holding Star Billing by a neck.
Include Me Out, who benefited from a ground-saving ride, was sent off 8-5 favourite before securing her second Grade 1 win to go with a pair of Grade 2s.
"I think she tolerates the synthetic tracks but she's a much better filly on dirt," said the winning trainer. "She doesn't seem to want to pull herself up as much. She just kind of does what she has to and then when she gets to that lead, she thinks it's over with."