Sweet Reason comes back a winner
By Sean Morris | 03/07/2014 06:05 PM ET
Sweet Reason, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course last summer, made a successful return to the races on Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack in the featured eighth race, a one-mile allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.
Trained by Leah Gyarmati for Treadway Racing Stable, the precocious daughter of Street Sense tracked the tepid early pace in fourth under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., while racing in the clear. As the tempo quickened around the far turn, the bay filly commenced her rally but was forced very wide into the stretch by Jose Ortiz aboard Ballylee. Once straightened away, she was able to reel in the pacesetting Aqua Regia - despite a sub-24 second final quarter-mile - to prevail by a half-length.
"It was a little nail-biting because you aren't expecting it to be quite that close," said Gyarmati, "but I thought it was great because she learned to gradually pick it up [and] sit there next to horses."
Sweet Reason was making her first start since a fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was also runner-up in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park in her 2-year-old season, overcoming a poor start and wide trip to finish 1 ¼ lengths behind Artemis Agrotera.
"If we are going to try to make the Gazelle [Grade 2, $300,000, April 5], you don't want to come back off a long layoff and have her just lay it all out there and then have to run back in 30 days. I kind of think this was perfect because it was well within her, [she] did it easily, it was a nice work, she learned something, she came back happy, and, hopefully, the next step will be a forward move instead of just a level move or a downward move."