Emcee Continues Strong Run For Mclaughlin And Godolphin With G1 Forego Victory
By Jon Forbes | 09/01/2012 06:19 PM ET
Emcee gave trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and owner Godolphin Racing their fourth Grade 1 win of the 2012 Saratoga Race Course meet by taking the $500,000 Forego by 4 ½ lengths on Saturday.
“It’s an honor to train for Godolphin and to have such quality horses,” said McLaughlin, who earlier in the meet teamed with Godolphin to post Grade 1 scores in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama with Questing and the Travers via dead heat with Alpha. “It makes my job easier, but I have a great team of people behind me, and it’s been an unbelievable meet. It’s hard to even believe. It will take some time to sink in.”
Emcee, who was seeking his first Grade 1 in three starts at the level, pressed pacesetter Pacific Ocean in second through a quarter-mile in 22.64 seconds and a half in 45.38. Jersey Town made a bold run along the inside to pass the top two in the run into the stretch before Emcee overtook that rival inside the final furlong and drove clear late. Hamazing Destiny nipped Jersey Town by a neck for second.
Off as the 3-2 favorite, Emcee returned $5.10 for a $2 win wager and ran seven furlongs in 1:21.00.
“My horse broke good and was right in the game,” said winning jockey Alan Garcia. “Turning for home, when I asked him, he ran and did it very well. I was very confident. It was a great post today, better than last time. All I wanted was for him to break good and take it from there. He did it the right way.”
In Saratoga’s Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on August 5, Emcee left from post position 2, led in deep stretch, and was passed late by both Poseidon’s Warrior and Justin Phillip to finish third, beaten a half-length. This time, he departed from post 5 in the field of seven, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the outside post may have made the difference.
“Had we been outside in the Vanderbilt, we might have been in a better spot,” said McLaughlin. “I’m just happy to win with this horse. He deserved a Grade 1, and he got it today.”
After winning his first two races in impressive fashion, Emcee was third in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap presented by Corona Extra in March at Aqueduct Racetrack, then fourth in his Grade 1 debut, Aqueduct’s Carter Handicap in April. A 4 ½-length optional-claiming victory on May 5 at Belmont Park preceded his third in the Vanderbilt.
Overall, Emcee is 4-0-2 in seven starts with $479,000 in earnings, including the $300,000 winner’s share of the Forego purse.
Emcee, a 4-year-old, likely will have one start prior to a Breeders’ Cup race in November at Santa Anita, McLaughlin said.
On Monday, McLaughlin and Godolphin will attempt to land another major stakes win at Saratoga when they send out Fortify in the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Hopeful. In addition to their four Grade 1 triumphs, they also won Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy with Alpha in July.
Caixa Eletronica was fourth, followed home by Pacific Ocean, Isn’t He Perfect, and Jackson Bend. Shackleford, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, was scratched.