Treadway Racing Stable’s Sail By, ridden by Junior Alvarado, captured Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Miss Grillo going 1 1/16 miles for juvenile fillies over the firm inner turf course, at Belmont Park.
Trained by Leah Gyarmati, Sail By returned to the grass after a third-place finish in the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson, contested at seven furlongs over a fast main track on September 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Sail By is a daughter of Astern out of the Johar mare Fly By. She is the latest Graded Stakes winner foaled and raised at bucolic Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He is also the latest important runner to emerge from the famed Hidden Brook Florida training center.
Breaking from the rail, Sail By tracked front-running longshot Charlee O, piloted by Manny Franco, as the two fillies quickly separated from their competitors through splits of 23.59 seconds, 49.40 and 1:14.46.
Alvarado moved Sail By closer to the leader as the field rounded the far turn and hit the front for the stretch drive with plenty in the tank. Sail By was able to hold off a late challenge from Chad Brown-trained runners – Kinchen and the heavy favorite McKulick – securing a one-length victory in a final time of 1:43.21. Kinchen completed the exacta by a head over McKulick.
“She broke very sharply,” Alvarado said, “She was laying second beautifully and was relaxing nicely. I knew I was going to have horse turning for home.”
A maiden winner at first asking sprinting six furlongs in June on the Belmont turf with Alvarado up, Sail By followed with a closing second in the five-furlong Colleen in August at Monmouth Park ahead of her P. G. Johnson third.
Alvarado said he felt his filly would handle the added distance.
“I always thought she wouldn’t have a problem stretching out,” Alvarado said. “I was hoping she wouldn’t get too sharp at the beginning. I knew she would get the distance for sure.”
Gyarmati said the game plan was to take a wait-and-see approach.
“We really didn’t have a big plan. We had the one-hole and she looked in the paddock like she was pretty sharp,” Gyarmati said. “I’m glad he [Alvarado] did things just as he did. He let her break and she broke really well and the other horse went which was perfect because it got her to settle.”
Gyarmati said she will confer with owner-breeder Jeff Treadway regarding a potential start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 5 at Del Mar.
“Any time you’re even thinking about having that kind of opportunity is wonderful,” Gyarmati said. I’ll have to talk to Jeff, but I’m sure he is game and wants to go. That’s a conversation we’ll have to have.”
Tyler Gaffalione, aboard the runner-up Kinchen, acknowledged moderate fractions hurt his filly’s chances.
“There wasn’t much pace in the race today,” Gaffalione said. “I didn’t want to take my filly out of her element. She’s still inexperienced but learning with each race. It was definitely a huge improvement today.”
Philly Eagles completed the superfecta. Hail To and pacesetter Charlee O rounded out the field.
Sail By returned $26.60 for a $2 win bet and improved her record to 4-2-1-1 and now sports earnings of $193,900. Both career wins have come over the Belmont turf.
-edited from www.paulickreport.com