Sensational Saginaw Sizzles In Hollie Hughes
By Jon Forbes | 02/18/2013 03:24 PM ET
Saginaw, a 10-time winner in 2012, launched his 2013 campaign in triumphant fashion, finishing with a flurry to defeat Readytodefer by a head in the $75,000 Hollie Hughes on Monday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Favored at 3-5 in the six-furlong race for New York-breds 3 years old and up, Saginaw raced in second as Readytodefer set fractions of 23.12 and 45.77 seconds while on a clear lead. Readytodefer maintained a two-length lead to the eighth pole, but Saginaw surged late to take the lead 20 yards from the finish.
“He broke good and I tried to just put him in a good spot where he could be comfortable,” said winning jockey Junior Alvarado. “Turning for home, I just asked him to go and he started giving me the kick. He’s a game, good horse and he knows what he’s doing. He just got there right at the wire.”
Saginaw, a 7-year-old son of Peruvian, paid $3.20 and completed the distance in swift 1:10.51.
Claimed for $30,000 by trainer David Jacobson last March, Saginaw has now won 10 of 13 starts for his new connections, including seven stakes. He finished 2012 in a three-way tie for the most wins in North America with 10. His attempt to win his 11th race in 2012 fell 12 ¾ lengths short when he was third in the Alex M. Robb at 1 1/16 miles at the Big A on December 26.
“He still has it, and I think, hopefully, this is the beginning of a long campaign for 2013,” said Jacobson, who owns Saginaw in partnership with Drawing Away Stable. “[We’ll take it] race by race. He might need another two months off, or we might get him back in next week, but that’s totally up to him.”
“He’s not the fastest horse I’ve ever had, but he has the biggest heart,” the trainer added.
Both Jacobson and Drawing Away managing partner Ed Boden said they expect Saginaw to move forward off his Hollie Hughes victory.
“He wasn’t really 100 percent; he won on his class,” said Boden. “Hopefully it will be start of another big year for him. Once he started moving in the stretch, I knew he would catch [Readytodefer] because he doesn’t like to lose.”
Overall, Saginaw is 17-6-3 in 36 starts. The $45,000 winner’s share of the Hollie Hughes purse pushed his career earnings to $791,690.
Be Bullish, also trained by Jacobson, rallied to finish third, beaten one length. Uncle T Seven and Sportswriter completed the order of finish.