Realm rules Alydar Stakes at Saratoga


Realm just got up under jockey Junior Alvarado to take the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga on August 5, 2018 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography

by Teresa Genaro

After REALM won an allowance race at Aqueduct in November 2016, it took a long time to get back to the winner’s circle…19 months in fact. Fortunately for his connections, they didn’t have to wait another 19 months to get their picture taken, as the horse they bought as a two-year-old made it two straight winning the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on August 5.

In the early stages of the nine-furlong Alydar run on a fast track, Junior Alvarado and Realm tracked leader Outplay, keeping him well within reach. Heading up the backstretch, Realm retreated to fourth place, off the leader by a good three lengths, and as Outplay increased his lead through slow fractions of :24.32 and :47.96. Realm, too, seemed unhurried, falling well behind the pacesetter.

But coming around the final turn, Alvarado took the dark bay gelding off the rail for the first time, going four wide and asking him for run. Initially making up little ground, Realm found another gear and spurted to the wire to just catch Kurilov, winning by a head.

“I thought sure we got beat,” admitted trainer Barclay Tagg, who owns the horse in partnership with Eric Dattner and Harry Astarita.

Alvarado commented, “When I worked him last time, I said, ‘The chance to win a stakes race is right now because he feels like he’s on top of his game.’ We took a chance and tried to pick up a check, and we ended up in the winner’s circle.”

Bred in Virginia by Morgan’s Ford Farm, Realm was selected by Tagg from the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale, paying $75,000. The horse had sold in July at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale for $36,000. Out of the Chief’s Crown mare Shawnee County, he’s earned just over $350,000.

“Harry and I have had a couple of horses together,” Dattner said, “but this is the first with Barclay. He said he’d like to own a horse but couldn’t afford one, so I paid for the horse and he paid for the upkeep until he caught up.”

“I thought he was beautiful,” Tagg said. “I don’t have the money behind me to buy on breeding. I buy them on looks and I’ve been very lucky doing it.”

Although placed in three graded stakes races, Realm, who was his sire Haynesfield’s first winner, had yet to earn a stakes win of any kind. It was not exactly what his connections expected, and nor did the public, sending him off as the 12-1 longest shot in the field of five. He paid $27.20 to win.

“He’s been…let’s say ‘steady,’” Dattner said diplomatically. “He’s more of a grinder. After he dropped back to fourth, I said to myself, ‘That’s not his style.’ This was a pleasant surprise.”

“It’s fun until it gets burdensome,” Tagg said of owning a horse. “We went though a couple of dry spells with him, and when you have one that you own part of, it’s tougher sometimes. But it’s better when this happens.”


Realm winner at Saratoga

Courtesy of the POST STAR

Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Long shot Realm won by a nose in the $100,000 Alydar on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.

Junior Alvarado brought the 12-1 horse from the back of the pack to overtake Kurilov at the wire. The horse paid $27.20 to win.

“He’s talented, but they kind of ran away from him a little bit, too, there,” winning trainer Barclay Tagg said in a NYRA statement. “(Alvarado) rode him nice and coolly and cut him to the outside when he had to. That’s the only thing you can do if he’s not in front; you’ve got to get him to the outside, but you don’t want too early and lose all that ground, either. He just rode him perfectly.”

Realm’s time over the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.02 for his second straight win.

“I’m not sure what’s next yet,” Tagg said. “We’ll play around with it. Boy, I’ll tell you I’d love to (try the Woodward on Sept. 1). We’ll see.”

REALM wins the Alydar S at Saratoga

REALM was selected as a yearling by Kirkwood.

Multiple graded stakes-placed REALM  (Haynesfield bided his time on the rail and then tipped out to surge down the stretch for the win. He has multiple stakes placings, but this is his first stakes win.  REALM  is owned by his trainer Barclay Tagg , Eric Dattner and Harry Astarita and has earned over $350,000 for his connections.

I’M BETTY G takes the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Stakes – her 2nd stakes win in a row

I’M BETTY G was selected by Kirkwood  as a yearling. Racing a mile on the turf at Ellis Park in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Stakes , the well-traveled I’M BETTY G (f, 4, Into Mischief- Lady in Ermine, by Honour and Glory) wired the field to win her second stakes in a row and her third race in a row.  In her last start, she cleared the field early and drove on to a win in the Lady Canterbury S. at Canterbury Downs also racing a mile on the turf. Last year she won the  Pearl Necklace S.  at Laurel and added a pair of thirds in the South Beach S. at Gulfstream and the  Albert M. Stall Memorial at the Fair Grounds.
Sales history: CONSIGNED BY KIRKWOOD STABLES)$150,000 2yo ’16 EASMAY.
Lifetime Record: SW, 15-5-1-5, $314,175.
O-Three Diamonds Farm
B-Carol Kaye & Boyce Stable (MD)
T-Michael J. Maker.

Courtesy of the TDN
I’m Betty G made it three straight with a professional victory in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf S. at Ellis. Away sharply from post four, the bay scampered to the front and led through respectable fractions of :23.84, :46.52 and 1:09.46. Collared by Bonnie Arch leaving the quarter pole, I’m Betty G quickly repelled that charge and had enough momentum late to best English Affair by a length at the wire. Bonnie Arch rounded out the trifecta. I’m Betty G, winner of last season’s Pearl Necklace S. against Maryland breds, finished third in a pair of graded stakes in 2017; Laurel’s GIII Commonwealth Oaks and the GIII Pin Oak Valley View S. at Keeneland. Runner-up in a pair of stakes to kick off this season, she came home a front-running winner going seven-eighths in a Belmont optional claimer Apr. 28 before annexing Canterbury’s one-mile Lady Canterbury S. June 23

BERNED scores in the G3 Molly Pitcher on the Haskell Undercard

Courtesy of the BloodHorse

… Robert Masiello, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Chris Larsen’s Berned flew by the leaders at the top of the stretch to win the G3 Molly Pitcher.

The 4-year-old, Graham Motion-trained daughter of Bernardini  has competed at a much tougher level in the past, with off-the-board efforts in the 2016 Starlet Stakes (G1), the 2017 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and the June 9 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), where she finished sixth.

Although she won the May 12 Serena’s Song Stakes and the 2017 Safely Kept Stakes, she hadn’t finished better than third in graded company since her third start, when she was second in the Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in 2016.

Jockey Joe Bravo kept Berned near the back of the field while Divine Miss Grey and Unchained Melody battled on the front end, running fractions of :23.51 and :46.80 through a half-mile. Rallying three wide into the stretch, Berned pulled clear of the field early, but Dreamcall, coming in off a three-race winning streak, sprinted from last to close to within three-quarters of a length at the wire.

Final time for the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:44.52. Divine Miss Grey held for third.

Bred by AR Enterprises out of the Giant’s Causeway mare First Passage, Berned was a $550,000 purchase by West Point Thoroughbreds when she was consigned to the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services.

GRAY DUDE wins his 5th

4-year-old gelding GRAY DUDE (First Dude) winner at 3 of the Starter Stakes Jack Flats at Gulfstream,  won his 5th race.  This year he has been on the board in every start and today racing a mile off the turf he drove to the lead early and held it for the win. He is owned by Crystal Racing Enterprises and trained by Armando De la Cerda. He over $150,000 in earnings.

BIG DAY FOR KIRKWOOOD: a winner and 2 stakes placed

Five-year-old First Dude gelding WINE NOT second last out in allowance company, ran second again this time in the Saginaw S at Belmont Park He was wide throughout and made a bid in the stretch which earned him his first black type.  FIRST DUDE is owned by  West Point Thoroughbreds and has earned $236,000. Following him across the wire in third was the 5-year-old Hard Spun colt MSW HIT IT ONCE MORE  winner of the  Haynesfield Stakes at Aqueduct and third in the Stymie. HIT IT ONCE MORE was purchased from Kirkwood Stables for $90,000 as a two year old by his trainer Gary Sciacca. He is owned by Yellow Moon Stable and was bred by  JMJ Racing Stables, LLC. His bankroll stands over $523,000.

Also a winner was ONEBALLNOSTRIKES (Include) who took an allowance race at Monmouth by 4 lengths.  Trained  by  John C. Servis, he is owned by  Final Turn Racing Stable LLC and earned over $179,000.  ONEBALLNOSTRIKES was started and then consigned and sold by Kirkwood at Timonium in 2016.