Weekend Hideaway Scores Again in Saratoga Stake

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Four years after winning the $100,000 John Morrissey for the first time, Weekend Hideaway did it again Thursday at Saratoga, holding safe a pair of late challenges then withstanding a claim of foul to register a well deserved 1 1/4-length victory over Eye Luv Lulu in the 6 1/2-furlong fixture for New York-bred sprinters.

The elder statesman in the field at the age of 8, Weekend Hideaway outsprinted Eye Luv Lulu to the lead and set lively fractions of 21.77 and 43.93 seconds for the opening half-mile over a sealed, muddy track. He settled into the stretch with a clear advantage under Luis Saez, then withstood the final bids from Eye Luv Lulu and defending winner Celtic Chaos. The latter was steadied from tight quarters along the rail trying to rally up inside the winner in late stretch.

A claim of foul by Brad Cox, the trainer of Celtic Chaos, was disallowed.

The victory was the 13th in 48 starts for Weekend Hideaway, a son of Speightstown, trained by Phil Serpe for the Red and Black stable. It was his fifth win from 11 tries at Saratoga. The winner completed the distance in 1:15.18 and paid $23.40. He was sold by Hidden Brook as a yearling in 2010 as part of the Flying Zee Stable dispersal.

“One year ago today, this horse was just as ready to run in this race, grabbed a quarter and we had to scratch him,” said Serpe. “And it really killed me to see him not be able to run last year because I really felt he was in position to win. For him to come back a year later and do this today was great. He’s a great horse, he does this stuff on his own, we’re just happy to be along with him.”

Serpe said he didn’t mind the off track, especially since Weekend Hideaway came into the race with five wins in 10 previous starts over wet surfaces.

“I was worrying the track was drying out too much with the sun beating on it all day, and that it had really gone from sloppy to muddy,” said Serpe. “On a fast track, I love to see this horse track a horse a little bit. But when the track gets sloppy or muddy, he likes to run, and you’ve got to let him run because that’s his strength. I saw those other guys coming late in the stretch, but Weekend Hideaway had a great day today. He really dug in, like he’s done and rewarded us so many times before.”

The victory is the latest in a string for Hidden Brook yearling graduates. Just one day prior, Keeneland September Yearling grad Beach View triumphed in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar. 

- edited from www.drf.com