SARATOGA SPRINGS - It doesn't take a genius to spot a powerful speed bias, and horses on the lead were almost impossible to catch in sprints Saturday on Travers Day at Saratoga.
Even-money favorite Discreetly Mine wasn't going to stop even after rocketing through a quarter-mile in 21.90 seconds and a half-mile in 44.11 in the Grade I King's Bishop Stakes for 3-year-olds. He beat late-running Bank Merger by 1¼ lengths despite tiring late. The time was 1:23.16, with a last furlong in a decelerating 13.72 seconds.
Discreetly Mine, ridden by John Velazquez, paid $4.10 and extended his winning streak to three for trainer Todd Pletcher. He earned $150,000 for his fifth victory in 13 starts, lifting his career bankroll to $799,350 for E. Paul Robsham Stables LLC.
D' Funnybone, second choice at 3-1 and who was 4-for-4 at 7 furlongs, stopped badly in the stretch and finished last, beaten by 20¼ lengths.
"Anytime you go 21, 44 and change for seven-eighths, that's pretty demanding," Pletcher said. "We were happy to hold on. We basically felt we had to go for the lead the way the track was playing."
Velazquez did just that. "The plan was if he broke well, to let him go away from there and let him do it."
Rightly So all the way
When you see a horse trained by anyone named Dutrow, don't be worried about it being rusty coming off a layoff. Tony Dutrow was talking up his 4-year-old Rightly So during the week, and the New York-bred daughter of Read the Footnotes had no problems winning the Grade I Ballerina Stakes off a 54-day break.
Post 1 at 7 furlongs often is a disadvantage, but it didn't bother Rightly So, who shot to the lead out of the gate and never gave it up. She won by four lengths over Warbling, who chased in second throughout. Despite being close behind a half-mile in a hot 44.80 seconds, a tiring Warbling held second by a neck over the rallying Jessica Is Back.
"It was just a fantastic performance," Dutrow said. "She's a filly who is capable of running fast the entire race, and she outdid herself today. She's been an overachiever, and once again she raised her game to the top."
Informed Decision, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, ran sixth of eight as the 2-1 favorite.
Rightly So paid $11.40 after being timed in 1:22.58. It was her seventh victory in 11 starts, and the winner's share of $150,000 raised her lifetime earnings to $480,050 for Zayat Stables LLC.
Speed, long shots 1-2 in Ballston Spa
On paper, it looked as if the Grade II Ballston Spa Handicap for fillies and mares would set up for a closer. Unfortunately for those who bet it that way, the race was run on speed-favoring turf.
Dynaslew ($17.60) stalked in second behind 14-1 Silver Reunion for about 7 furlongs before taking the lead inside the sixteenth pole. Dynaslew beat the front-runner by a half-length, and no one behind them ever got involved. Dynaslew, ridden by Eibar Coa and trained by Seth Benzel, ran 11/16 miles on a firm course in 1:40.58 and won for the fifth time in 13 starts on grass.
Phola, the 2-1 favorite, was eighth of 10.
Rapport wires Victory Ride
California shipper Rapport, trained by Bob Baffert, blasted through a half-mile in 44.54 seconds and easily held off 22-1 My Jen for a 3½-length score in the Grade III Victory Ride Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Martin Garcia rode the winner, who ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.66 and paid $6.90 for her third win in seven starts. "She looked like the only speed in the race," Garcia said, "and she just kept going."
A horse to watch
Pletcher, the meet's leading trainer, and Michael Repole, its top owner, enjoyed the spectacular debut of Uncle Mo in the fifth race. The 2-year-old son of Indian Charlie made his 4-5 odds look like a steal as he dominated by 14¼ lengths with Velazquez. The colt was timed in 1:09.21 for 6 furlongs, including a final eighth in a brilliant 11.76 seconds.