Crazy Mason breaks his maiden by 9½ lengths July 20 at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese)
Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park
OCEANPORT, N.J.— Trainer Gregg Sacco doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself with the potential for Crazy Mason, but after the 2-year-old colt won a maiden special weight race at Saratoga by 9½ lengths on July 20 he knows he could have something special in his barn.
Special enough that Sacco invoked multiple Grade 1 winner Mind Control as a comparison at this stage of his career.
Crazy Mason will take the next step toward trying to fulfill the promise he has hinted at in Saturday’s $200,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park, trying two turns for the first time in the one-mile feature race.
“It’s a lot of fun when you get one like this,” said Sacco. “Our last real promising 2-year-old like this was Mind Control. They’re hard to come by.
“This is a colt we’re really excited about and we’re looking forward to Saturday to see if he can pass that next test.”
A Kentucky-bred son of Coal Front-Izshelegal by Maria’s Mon, Crazy Mason looks to have been a bargain purchase at $27,500. He was picked out at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale in 2022 by Sacco’s son Will, who serves as his top assistant.
“They had a reserve on him of $50,000. We bought him post-sale for $27,500,” said Sacco. “He has a nice female line on the bottom. My son and I love first crop sires. Coal Front was a terrific horse for Todd Pletcher.
“You don’t know if they’re going to be good sires but with a first crop sire you have the ability to get a bargain because it’s a first crop.”
Donna Wright owns the colt, with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing purchasing half following the Saratoga win.
Jockey Jose Lezcano was impressed enough with Crazy Mason’s performance at the Spa that he will make the trip from Saratoga to the Jersey Shore to ride the colt again, giving up his mounts on Travers Day.
Adding blinkers appears to have made a difference after Crazy Mason was a late-running second in maiden special weight company in his career debut on June 17 at Monmouth Park.
“His first race he ran green but we were really happy with the effort,” said Sacco. “He was wandering a little bit around the turn. Once he got focused he ducked to the rail and came through on the inside, which you don’t see 2-year-olds do very often. After that race we put blinkers on.
“We didn’t think he would win by 9½ lengths at Saratoga, but we were proud of the effort.”
Sacco doesn’t see two turns and stretching out as issues for Crazy Mason, who is named for a milkshake company with locations that stretch from Baltimore to Orlando. His first two races were at five furlongs and 5½ furlongs.
“He’s a big colt – 16 hands – with a long stride,” Sacco said. “He did win sprinting but in our mind we saw him as a horse who would start out sprinting and would develop into a two-turn horse. We’re hoping he runs to his training Saturday.”
If he does, it would extend the best meet Sacco has had at Monmouth Park since 2019. He currently has an 11-13-10 line from 66 starters at the meet.
“It has been a pleasant surprise,” he said. “It has been a strong meet for us. We did well at Tampa after Monmouth last year and it carried over to this meet.”