Sent off the prohibitive 2-5 chalk while making his first appearance in Grade I company, Three Chimneys Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Volatile (Violence) fell out onto the lead, enjoyed a soft time of things on the engine and turned it on late to post a 1 1/4-length victory in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga.
The Vanderbilt was reduced to a field of four by the gate scratching of Lexitonian (Speightstown), who was unlikely to have a say in the finish, but who may have set or otherwise impacted the pace. The start of the race was further delayed by Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect), who broke through the gate, but was pulled up after galloping about a furlong and was passed fit to run. The quartet broke as one, but with none of the horses showing particularly keen early interest, Ricardo Santana, Jr. took the bull by the horns and led the field through an opening quarter in :23.46, a nearly unheard-of split for this level of competition.
Chased around the turn by dual Saratoga Grade I winner Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) and GISW Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) farther out, Volatile turned for home after a half in :46.67 and dared them to match strides with him late.
by Alan CarassoIt's never easy being the hunted.
Making his first start since the federal indictment of his former
trainer Jason Servis and sent out for the first time by trainer Bob Baffert, Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security (New Year's Day) looked destined for defeat in Saturday's GII San Diego H. But the 4-year-old, last seen winning the $20-million Saudi Cup nearly five months ago, overcame some aggressive race riding and perhaps some ring-rustiness to grab Midcourt (Midnight Lute) to take it by a nostril.
9:20a Grosser Dallmayr Preis-G1, MUN
9:55a Tattersalls Gold Cup-G1, CUR
10:05a Betfred British EBF Valiant Fillies’ S.-G3, ASC 1
0:40a Princess Margaret Betfred S.-G3, ASC
4:23p Seagram Cup S.-GIII, WO
5:46p Bernard Baruch S.-GII, SAR
8:30p Eddie Read S.-GII, DMR