NEWS: RACING

Saratoga Giro scores decisive victory in George W. Barker Stakes

Monday, June 4th, 2018

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

The racing season at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) is still young, but for the time being the torch of sprint division leader in Farmington has passed from three-time FLGR Horse of the Year Breakin the Fever to Saratoga Giro.

On Monday, Saratoga Giro, a 5-year-old of son of former New York sire Girolamo, scored a decisive victory in the 34th running the $50,000 George W. Barker while getting the better of his 6-year-old rival for the second time this year. Breakin the Fever won the Barker in both 2016 and 2017.

Looking for his third victory of 2018, on May 12 Saratoga Giro won the sprint allowance at Finger Lakes that served as the unofficial prep for the Barker by 4 1/4 lengths, besting two Barker rivals, Manipulated (second) and Breaking the Fever (third).

On Monday Saratoga Giro was sent off by bettors to go six furlongs over the “good” (sealed) track as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five. Second choice at 3-2 was Belmont-based Mighty Zealous, while Breakin the Fever was 3-1 at post time. Manipulated was let go at 15-1.

Bounding out gate from his outside post, Saratoga Giro was the first to show the lead, and crossed over. Shortly he was joined by Breakin the Fever to his inside, who grabbed rail spot from post three. The pair raced in tandem along the backstretch through the first quarter in 22.15 while Mighty Zealous stalked two lengths back in third.

Part of the way round the far turn, Saratoga Giro put a head in front while clocking a half-mile in 44.76. Opening his lead to one length by the head of the stretch and set down for the drive, Saratoga Giro kicked clear and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths without an anxious moment for jockey Jeremias Flores.

Manipulated finished well in the center of the track to grab second, leaving Mighty Zealous three-quarters of a length further back in third. Completing the order of finish were Sundae On Sunday and Breakin the Fever. Final Chapter was a race-day scratch and the final time was 1:11.20. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bred by Mendean Jonath Inc. and owned by Henry Steadman in partnership with Saratoga Giro’s trainer Paul Barrow, Saratoga Giro has been a consistent runner on the NYRA circuit and at FLGR. The Barker is his first stakes victory, but in each of the prior years he has picked up placings in the Ontario County Stakes (second to Love that Jazz in 2016) and Leon Reed Memorial (second to Breakin the Fever in 2017). In 26 career starts the dark bay has won ten races with six seconds and one third and earned $295,202.

Saratoga Giro is the most successful offspring of Florida-bred Silver Deputy mare White Slippers, who has produced three winners from three foals to start. A two-time veteran of the sales ring, Saratoga Giro was purchased by Woodford Sales at the 2014 OBS August yearling sale for $27,000. He brought the same price in 2015 when purchased by Steadman at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale.

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