FAYETTE STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 2 | 1 1/8 MILES
Newsdad rallied from last to capture Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Fayette on Saturday, the final day of Keeneland's fall meet.
"It was not our game plan going out there to be that far back, to be honest with you," said Kenny McCarthy, assistant trainer to Bill Mott. "He's got a big cruising speed so we thought he'd be a little closer. Leaving the gate, he looked like he stumbled just slightly and then after that, you have to leave it up to your jockey. I thought Julien Leparoux did a great job on him. Just tucked him in the first turn, let him go extend himself down the backside and came very smoothly into the stretch."
The four-year-old colt stumbled slightly out of the gate and found himself trailing the 10-horse field. Newsdad was forced to chase down pacesetter and eventual third-place finisher Take Charge Indy, who posted fractions of :24 1/5, :47 4/5 and 1:11 3/5. The dark brown colt was flying down the stretch and drew clear by two lengths with Leparoux aboard, who was the leading rider for the Keeneland fall meet.
"That [off the pace] was a good place for us," Leparoux said. "Usually, he runs 1 1/2-mile races where they go a lot slower, so he's a little bit more forward. Today he was in the back, happy. On the backside, he started picking it up and at the three-quarter pole I knew I had a lot of horse. He came running."
Newsdad completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 1/5 over the Polytrack. He returned nice payouts of $19, $9 and $5.20 to his backers.
The 3-2 favorite Salto tracked the pace three wide and was in a duel with Take Charge Indy much of the race before falling to fourth. Nikki's Sandcastle was up late for place. Middie, Photo Shoot, Guys Reward, Eye of the Leopard, Golden Yank and Twinspired rounded out the order of finish. Vertiformer was scratched.
"For his first start back after [finishing 19th in] the [Kentucky] Derby he was very impressive." said jockey Calvin Borel, who was aboard Take Charge Indy. "For him to come back like this; he's a great horse and he showed it today. I was pressed almost the whole way and only got beat, like, two lengths, so I was very impressed with the race.
"I was busy with the 6 [Salto] but I could see [the 4, winner Newsdad] coming on the outside. My horse was faltering a little bit but, you know, he's supposed to, being off that long. This gets him ready now for the Grade 1 Clark Handicap on November 23 at Churchill Downs and then we'll go from there."
By Arch, Newsdad was bred in Kentucky by owner James S. Karp and is out of the unraced Pulpit mare Storm Tracer. The nine-year-old mare is a half-sister to stakes winner and Grade 3 runner-up Field Cat, and stakes victor Estevan.
Newsdad placed in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes and the Victoria Park Stakes and also finished fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes last season. The dark bay opened 2012 with a 6 3/4-length romp over allowance/optional claiming and was a nose second in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes. The winner of the Grade 2 Pan American back in March was unplaced in his last four starts. With Saturday's $90,000 payday, Newsdad has now earned $483,640 from a 20-5-2-3 line.