SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Big Beast lived up to his name and his imposing physique as he rallied to cut down pacesetter Fast Anna by a neck in the Grade I King's Bishop for 3-year-olds Saturday at Saratoga.
Leading rider Javier Castellano was on the winner, who paid $7.70 after running 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.35 for his third victory in five starts. Trainer Tony Dutrow was so impressed with a six-length allowance romp here last month that he took a shot in a $500,000 stakes.
Fast Anna's name describes her well. She immediately took the lead and held it until the final yards in her first defeat in three starts for trainer Kathy Ritvo.
'Agrotera' takes Ballerina
Artemis Agrotera ($10.60) surged past front-running La Verdad in midstretch and drew away to a 6½-length win over My Miss Aurelia in the Grade I, $500,000 Ballerina Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The New York-bred sprinted 7 furlongs in 1:21.89 under Rajiv Maragh for trainer Michael Hushion.
Abaco wins Ballston Spa
The 6-year-old mare Abaco ($10.60) rallied wide for Jose Ortiz to edge Strathnaver by a neck to take the Grade II, $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Filimbi, the 3-5 favorite, was last of six. Shug McGaughey trains the winner for owner-breeder Ogden Mills Phipps.
Trio gets two wins
Steve Asmussen and Rosie Napravnik made sure that Asmussen's Tulsa, Oklahoma-based attorney, Clark Brewster, enjoyed Travers day. Asmussen and Napravnik teamed for wins with Bayerd and Shining Copper, both owned by Brewster.
Breakdown is a downer
Travers day's festive mood took a dramatic downswing after first-time starter Ludicrous suffered a catastrophic injury to her right foreleg in midstretch during the fourth race. The 2-year-old filly trained by Chad Brown had to be euthanized about 10 yards from the rail.