Studlydoright Runs Right by To Capture Tremont

June 6, 2024

Studlydoright wins the Tremont (NYRA/Coglianese)

By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Studlydoright made his stakes debut a winning one, closing from well off a scintillating pace under a patient Xavier Perez to capture Thursday’s Listed $150,000 Tremont, a 5 1/2-furlong main-track sprint for 2-year-olds to kick off the stakes action on Day One of the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, at Saratoga Race Course.

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which spans Thursday through Sunday, is highlighted by the 156th edition of the Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 8. The four-day Festival will include 24 stakes races with purses totaling $10.25 million, the highest purse levels and number of stakes offered since the launch of the multi-day Festival in 2014.

Thursday’s lucrative card also features the Listed $150,000 Jersey Girl for sophomore fillies sprinting six furlongs in Race 4; the $150,000 Astoria at 5 1/2-furlongs for juvenile fillies in Race 9; and the Grade 2, $250,000 Belmont Gold Cup, a two-mile Mellon turf test for older horses in Race 10.

Trained by John “Jerry” Robb for owner David R. Hughes, the Maryland-bred Studlydoright utilized similar tactics in his May 5 debut at Laurel Park when closing from fifth to win by 1 1/2-lengths traveling 4 1/2-furlongs over sloppy and sealed footing.

Three Echoes broke alertly in the Tremont for jockey Flavien Prat with Shoot the Nickel chasing to his outside, but it was the first-time starter Touchy, under Hall of Famer Joel Rosario, who would surge to the front from post 7 to mark the opening quarter-mile in a swift 22.11 seconds over the fast main track.

Studlydoright broke well before saving ground in fifth position as Touchy led through the turn with Three Echoes in pursuit and Classic of Course keeping watch from third. Touchy raced wide into the stretch run through a half-mile in 45.28 as a determined Three Echoes stayed on strong near the rail. Studlydoright cut the corner with intent and was full of run as a green Touchy drifted in to go neck-and-neck with Three Echoes at the sixteenth marker.

Perez expertly angled Studlydoright to the outside of the dueling front pair and vaulted home a 1 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:04.22. It was a further half-length back to Three Echoes in third with Classic of Course, Brereton’s Baytown, Dew, Dominican Thunder and Shoot the Nickel rounding out the order of finish.

The victory marked the first win at Saratoga for Robb, who said the race set up as expected.

“I knew he had the kick. I knew they would outrun him early, but we’re all trying to find what we have. Now we’ve got a stakes winner,” Robb said. “I just told [Perez] to save ground and wait to make a late run. I was hoping he was going to be third, and he jumped up and won.

“I knew there was a lot of speed and we planned on closing and coming from off of it,” he added, regarding the first main-track race of the Festival. “I didn’t know if speed was holding or closing. We couldn’t be happier.”

It was the fourth stakes score at the Spa for Perez, following past success with Sensible Lady in the 2012 Coronation Cup and in 2013 with Dance to Bristol in both the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap and Grade 1 Ballerina.

High fives after a strong victory (Janet Napolitano)

“Everything happened like Jerry said it was going to happen. The speed went and I just sat behind them and just saved all the ground like Jerry told me,” Perez said. “When I started asking him at the five-sixteenths, he started picking up gradually. I saw Wesley Ward’s horse [Touchy] in the stretch going everywhere and when I took my horse to the outside, he just gave me everything, just like he did the first time he ran.

“He was more mature this time. Today, he was focused,” Perez continued. “When he was in the gate, he was a little racy, but when he settled, I was really confident that we were going to get the job done.”

The Wesley Ward-trained Three Chimneys Farm-homebred Touchy went to post as the 4-5 mutuel favorite, but could not maintain his lead in an erratic stretch run.

“I thought I was going to follow someone, but it looked like he was sharp. It looked like we were going to win turning for home, just too bad we got beat at the last part,” Rosario said. “I tried to stay outside there for a little bit, and it looked like it was fine, then came over a little bit, just trying to figure out what he wanted to do.”

A stewards’ inquiry into Touchy’s stretch run resulted in no change to the order of finish.

Studlydoright, a $110,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale purchase, is out of the graded stakes-placed Curlin mare Peach of a Gal, who is a half-sister to graded stakes-placed Concealed Identity.

Bred in Maryland by Glenangus Farm, Studlydoright banked $82,500 in victory while remaining undefeated through two starts. He returned $29.80 for a $2 win bet.

Live racing resumes Friday at Saratoga for Day Two of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, headlined by the Grade 1, $750,000 New York presented by Rivers Casino in Race 11. The stacked 12-race card also features the Grade 1, $500,000 Just a Game in Race 10, the Grade 1, $500,000 DK Horse Acorn in Race 12, and the Grade 2, $200,000 Intercontinental presented by MTV Solutions in Race 9. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.

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