Sweet Reason recaptures best form, wins G1 Acorn
By Sean Morris | 06/07/2014 08:38 PM ET
Sweet Reason, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course last summer, returned to form on Saturday at Belmont Park to take the Grade 1, $750,000 TVG Acorn by a half-length.
Trained by Leah Gyarmati for Treadway Racing Stable, Sweet Reason showed great promise in her 2-year-old season. In addition to her Spinaway victory, the Street Sense filly finished second in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park after a troubled beginning, and fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The Gyarmati trainee kicked off 2014 by taking an optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack with a modest 72 Beyer Speed Figure, and returned to finish a disappointing third in the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct.
"After the Gazelle, I didn't like how she was looking," said Gyarmati. "I pulled some blood on her. There were little things off, nothing major, probably just wear and tear from the winter. She probably took it harder than I thought she did going into the race. We just did a lot of work on that, lots of vitamins. There wasn't anything major."
On Saturday, Sweet Reason settled near the back of the pack in the opening stages of the race, as Fiftyshadesofgold led the field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.86 seconds and a half in 45.88.
After six furlongs in 1:10.32, jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. began looking for running room as the field entered the stretch, waiting patiently for a path to reveal itself. With a furlong and a half remaining, a lane finally presented itself, and the bay filly charged up to the leaders and wore down a determined Sweet Whiskey.
"I got a perfect trip," said Ortiz. "Everything turned out perfectly. She broke, I sat, I waited, waited, waited and turned the corner and saved all the ground I could. Then, I got clear and she took off."
Sweet Reason completed the mile in 1:34.98 and returned $20.80 on a $2 win bet.
Sweet Whiskey - trained by Todd Pletcher - held well to finish second after making the first run at the pacesetter. The daughter of Old Fashioned had previously finished first in the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream Park and second in the Grade 2 Beaumont on Keeneland.
"When I rode her at Keeneland, I said I'm going to do the same thing today - take her back, put her behind horses and hope she takes the dirt," said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, jockey aboard Sweet Whiskey. "She was perfect. Perfect trip and we got outrun right before the wire."
It was another four lengths back to Unbridled Forever in third, who also was third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
Fiftyshadesofgold, Tiz So Sweet, and House Rules rounded out the next three slots, while odds-on favorite My Miss Sophia, also trained by Pletcher, finished seventh.
Artemis Agrotera, Fashion Plate, Risque Reality, Lady Paradime, Vero Amore and Euphrosyne completed the order of finish.