Crawdaddy steals the show in NYSS Spectacular Bid

Sunday, June 25th, 2017
NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

With only a debut victory under his belt, Gold Square LLC’s Crawdaddy (Girolamo) delivered an agile and impressive performance at Belmont Park Sunday afternoon to win a competitive edition of the $100,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes series.

Winning jockey Luis Saez also earned jocks’ room bragging rights for the day, having ridden Lady Joan to victory two races earlier in the co-featured filly division of the paired the 7-furlong turf contests for eligible New York-sired sophomores.

In his June 8 Belmont debut for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, Crawdaddy was let go at 33-1 before going on to win the 6-furlong turf sprint by 2 1/2 lengths going away with a last-to-first charge. When the Spectacular Bid was drawn, Englehart commented, “Luis [Saez] said [Crawdaddy] was green the first part of [his debut] but then put it together. I thought he was a pretty decent horse coming into the race, but I wasn’t sure he was as good as the other one I had in there. I think the turf moved him up.”

This time around Crawdaddy was certainly better respected by the bettors to the tune of 7-2 odds, or third choice in the field of nine. On the other hand, his antics during the loading process, which obliged Saez to dismount until the colt was situated in the gate, may have given his backers pause.  Once the doors opened, however, the dark bay was all business.

Patient early, as he cruised along at the fence in fourth about four lengths off pacesetter and 17-1 longshot Heldatgunpoint, Crawdaddy enjoyed a smooth trip until he found himself in tight behind Bavaro, who did not appear to relish the surface in his turf debut and began to back up midway around the far turn.

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

NYRA/Joe Labozzetta

Steadied and shuffled back, Crawdaddy regrouped and worked his way out into the two-path at the head of the stretch. Navigating traffic in upper stretch, Crawdaddy split rivals midstretch, dove back inside and, with a sixteenth to go, drew even with Heldatgunpoint.

Within a few strides he wrested away the lead, and edged clear to win by three-quarters of a length. After the early splits went at a pretty fast clip – 22.67, 45.62 – Crawdaddy stopped the clock at 1:22.83 over the “good” turf.

Heldatgunpoint finished second 2 3/4 lengths clear of stakes winner T Loves a Fight. Completing the order of finish were Reason to Soar, Terry O Geri, Ardmore Bay, You Like That, St. Patrick Frost and Bavaro. Bookew Bucks was an early scratch. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Of Crawdaddy’s pre-race rambunctiousness Luis Saez said, “[In his maiden win on June 8] he was the last horse to load in the gate, so he got out of the gate right away. Today, he was in the one hole so he was a little nervous.”

“[I had] a little bit of a rough trip,” continued the pilot. “We got a good position but I had a horse in front of me [Bavaro] and then he stopped on the turn. I thought, ‘Man, we’ve got trouble here.’ Finally, we got a little room. We came out and got a better position. When we came into the stretch, he responded very well. He’s very game. He’s a fighter.”

Crawdaddy, who is a $103,200-earner from two victories, was purchased by Al Gold for $110,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale in Saratoga.

Bred by Dutchess Views Farm and SGO Thoroughbred LLC, Crawdaddy is the first foal out of Rare Edition, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Street Sense, who was acquired in foal by Dutchess Views’ Michael Lischin and Nathan Lacombe for $35,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale in 2013. The mare is a half sister to French Group 2 winner Touch of the Blues and has a crowd of graded/group winners on the pedigree page under her second dam, including champion Indian Skimmer. Rare Edition has since added to her brood a yearling filly by Gio Ponti and, this year, a colt by Mineshaft.

Crawdaddy’s sire, Darley’s Grade 1-winning son of A.P. Indy Girolamo, began his stud career in 2012 at Becky Thomas and Dennis Narlinger’s Sequel Stallions New York before relocating to Kentucky.

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