Sea Foam holds sway in Albany

Friday, August 24th, 2018

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Waterville Lake Stable’s homebred Sea Foam did all the hard work on the front end and had enough left in reserve to hold off a menacing closer to capture Friday’s $250,000, 1 1/8-mile Albany Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds, the first featured race on the all-New York-bred Showcase card that kicks off Travers weekend at Saratoga Racecourse.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Sea Foam was last seen at Finger Lakes on July 21 scoring his first win as a sophomore in the New York Derby, wiring the field under local rider Jaime Rodriguez. With the Albany victory on Friday, Sea Foam’s third career stakes win, the bay son of Medaglia d’Oro earned the bragging rights for two-thirds of the three-race series for New York-bred 3-year-olds traditionally known as the Big Apple Triple. The triad begins with the Mike Lee at Belmont in May, which was won this year by Albany runner Analyze the Odds.

Four horses in the well-matched Albany line-up received significant support from the bettors. Sea Foam was sent off as the post time favorite at 3-2. Last year’s Sleepy Hollow winner Evaluator was bet down to 2-1, Analyze the Odds was 7-2 and Singapore Trader, a flashy grey son of Flatter trained by Todd Pletcher, was 4-1 for his stakes debut.

Drawn outside with Joel Rosario in the irons, Sea Foam started off his run in the Albany by taking a page out of his New York Derby playbook, getting away well and leading by the first point of call.  Singapore Trader and Spectacular Kid tracked in second and third.

Leading the way by a comfortable length along the backstretch and around the far turn, Sea Foam carved out fractions of 23.53, 47.51 and 1:11.85. At the head of the lane Sea Foam angled out into the two-path for dash home.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

In the stretch, as Singapore Trader persisted at the fence, Evaluator unwound a serious bid. Fourth inside the furlong grounds he passed two rivals and took a bead on Sea Foam.

Sea Foam, however, had the answer. The bay dug in and held on to win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:50.24. Evaluator checked in second three-quarters of a length ahead of Singapore Trader. Completing the order of finish were Analyze the Odds, Spectacular Kid and Bad Guy. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“Christophe [Clement] told me to let him be happy wherever he was,” reported Rosario. “He broke sharp out of there and I just let him be where he was. He looked like he showed some speed. He has a nice closing speed.”

Added Rosario, “I was happy because I work him in the mornings and he’s the type of horse where it doesn’t matter how fast you go, he has a good closing speed and when you ask him to go, he just keeps going.”

Clement commented, “He’s always been a nice horse. He was supposed to run at Aqueduct [in December] in a race [Damon Runyon] which was canceled. It took him a while to get going, but certainly going longer on the dirt is better for him.”

Winning for this set of owners is also special for Clement. “I’m delighted because [John Meriwether’s] Waterville Lake Stable has supported me forever. It’s pretty usual for them to keep their fillies and sell their colts, and they didn’t with Sea Foam because of an early issue, and I’m delighted it worked out.”

Sea Foam opened his account last year with a trio of solid runner-up efforts at Saratoga and Belmont before breaking his maiden at Aqueduct on November 26 and stalking and pouncing to capture the Notebook Stakes on November 26. It took two starts this spring to shed the rust of the winter, with wide-trip fourth in the Mike Lee Stakes and an unplaced effort in the open $100,000 Manila Stakes at Belmont, before scoring his back-to-back New York Derby and Albany wins. From four wins and three seconds in nine starts he has earned $373,570 for his connections.

Foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Sea Foam is out of Kentucky-bred mare Strike It Rich by Undbridled’s Song, who was purchased by Clement for Waterville Lake Stable for $350,000 at the 2008 Saratoga select yearling sale.

Becoming a graded winner before retiring to broodmare duty, Strike It Rich has produced a pair of winners from three starters. She currently has a juvenile filly by Kitten’s Joy named Kerry’s Ring who has not yet started, a yearling filly by Giant’s Causeway, and foaled a colt by Hard Spun foal on April 7, 2018.

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