Market Alert wins Saginaw to close Belmont meet

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

Market Alert keeps it together and cruises to victory in Sunday’s Saginaw Stakes to close the Belmont Park spring-summer meeting. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

WellSpring Stables’ homebred Market Alert likes to give his people – along with the starting gate crew – a bit of trouble. So much so that trainer Jim Ryerson likes to joke that the 4-year-old D’Funnybone gelding keeps “finding new way to make more gray hair on my head.”

Ryerson will take the gray as long as Market Alert continues to uncover ways to win, like he did in Sunday’s $100,000 Saginaw Stakes to close Belmont Park’s spring-summer meeting. Market Alert won the 1 1/16-mile Saginaw under Jose Ortiz for his first stakes victory after eight prior tries.

“He’s kind of reinvented himself with a little distance,” Ryerson said. “He’s able to adapt to the pace. Today, there was a lot of speed and he was able to rate. All things you would hope for.”

Ryerson also hoped a half-mile tightener in :47.66 on the Belmont training track three days before the Saginaw, and a more professional attitude from the chestnut gelding would lead to success Sunday.

“We’ve had trouble with the tunnel and he didn’t want to come out of his stall after we saddled him,” Ryerson said. “He broke through the gate last time, and he tried breaking through the gate the time before that when he was third. They had just clicked it or he might have done it that day.”

Ortiz didn’t encounter much trouble from Market Alert in the Saginaw. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the field of six older New York-breds, Market Alert came away well from the gate and raced behind the three-way battle between 8-5 favorite Listentoyourheart, Therisastormbrewin and Daddy Knows for the early lead.

Listentoyourheart, winner of a 7-furlong state-bred allowance-optional last time, held a narrow lead through the opening quarter-mile in :23.10 before relinquishing it to Therisastormbrewin to the half in :45.50. Daddy Knows backed out of the three-way scramble first, just about the time Market Alert moved up to race alongside Listentoyourheart.

Market Alert drew just about to even terms with Therisastormbrewin at the quarter-pole and took the lead just outside the eighth pole. Ortiz stayed busy from there, knowing Market Alert’s tendencies after riding him May 28 and other times last year. They drew off late to win by 2 1/2 lengths from Therisastormbrewin, who finished 1 ½ lengths clear of the late-running Brooklyn Strong with Listentoyourheart fourth. Market Alert won in 1:43.20.

“He’s a horse that’s a little difficult. In the gate, he’s difficult, too,” Ortiz said. “We’re just happy to see what he can do when he runs his best. He was sitting in a good spot.

“[Jimmy has been working with him a lot, so I’m happy for Jimmy and the owners. He’s a nice horse, but sometimes they aren’t mentally there and it makes it a little tougher. This is one of them. In the post parade, he likes to freeze and stuff, but we’ve been working with him and I think he’s getting better and better. Today, he was the best horse.”

Market Alert improved to 5-for-19 with two seconds and three thirds in the Saginaw. Stakes-placed on three other occasions including a second in last year’s Mike Lee at Belmont, Market Alert picked up $55,000 to boost his bankroll to $351,120.

Market Alert is the fourth foal out of the stakes-placed Silver Deputy mare Shakaleena and one of two winners produced by the mare. WellSpring also bred her other winner, Market Alert’s full brother Beyond Honor, who went 2-2-4 in 20 starts and earned $66,224. Shakaleena sold in foal to Boys At Tosconova for $1,500 at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Her last known reported foal is a 3-year-old colt by that sire foaled in Korea in 2019.

Ryerson said he would target the $125,000 Evan Shipman Handicap at 1 mile Aug. 12 at Saratoga Race Course for Market Alert’s next start. Saratoga opens its 40-day summer meeting Thursday.


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