by Brian Bohl
Reddam Racing’s California-bred Listing enjoyed stakes success in the Golden State and continued his winning ways on the opposite coast, surging from second-to-last to overtake Neverland Rock and fend off Elektronic in deep stretch for a half-length win in the 10th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Quick Call for 3-year-olds on Thursday at Saratoga Race Course.
Off as the 7-5 favorite, Listing stayed covered up in sixth as jockey Joel Rosario kept the Square Eddie colt tucked inside as Abyssinian led the seven-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 21.68 seconds and the half in 45.54 into the turn in the 5 ½-furlong sprint on the yielding Mellon turf.
Rosario, bidding for his third win on Opening Day at the Spa, capitalized on a ground-saving trip out of the turn and tipped Listing out wide for his move, with his charge responding by running down five competitors, including Neverland Rock just before the wire, and outkicked a charging Elektronic, recording a final time of 1:03.94.
“He has speed and he broke sharp and it looked for a second that he wanted to be where he was,” said Rosario, who won aboard Big Q in Race 5 and Wegetsdamunnys in Race 7. “So, I just wanted to hold him together and try to move at the right time, and he did. I got in between horses and he kicked home, and that was good.
“The turf is soft but he was handling it fine. I rode him once on the dirt in California and he went to the grass after and won easy. It was on the grass again today, so that was a good performance.”
Listing improved to 4-1-1 in nine career starts, with all of his victories coming against stakes company. A 1 ¼-length debut winner in the I’m Smokin in August at Del Mar, Listing also scored stakes wins in the California Cup Turf Sprint in January at Santa Anita and a last-out triumph in the Desert Code on June 9 at Santa Anita.
Making his Saratoga debut, Listing gave trainer Ben Cecil his first graded stakes win in seven years. Cecil’s previous graded stakes success was with Quiet Oasis in the 2012 Grade 2 Royal Heroine Mile and the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap.
Listing returned $4.80 on a $2 win wager. He improved his career bankroll to $280,400.
Elektronic, owned and trained by Linda Rice, edged Neverland Rock, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, by a neck in a strong stakes debut.
“We broke well but the first quarter, he didn’t handle the soft turf too good,” said Elektronic jockey Jose Lezcano. “I struggled a little bit to put him back on the bridle, but finally when I did he gave me a good kick. He’s a nice horse.”
Somebeyay, Abyssinian, Fully Loaded and Call Paul completed the order of finish. Gladiator King, Mount Travers, Dunph and Releasethethunder, a main-track only entrant, were scratched.
Inaugurated in 2008, the Quick Call was named after the multiple graded stakes-winning gelding who won more than half of his 16 career victories at the Spa. Quick Call has found continued success following his racing career as the face of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances Program at Wallkill, New York.
Live racing resumes on Friday at Saratoga with a 10-race card, highlighted by the Grade 3, $150,000 Forbidden Apple. First post is 1 p.m.