(Somelikeithotbrown wins the G2 Bernard Baruch on Sunday / Photo by Adam Coglianese & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
While nobody is perfect, New York-bred Somelikeithotbrown was plenty good enough on Sunday, surging to the front while keeping plenty in reserve for the stretch, going gate-to-wire for a one-length win over stablemate Mr Dumas in the Grade 2, $150,000 Bernard Baruch for 3-year-olds and up at Saratoga Race Course.
Against a six-horse field, the Mike Maker-trained Somelikeithotbrown broke sharp from post 3 and led through comfortable fractions of 24.79 seconds for the quarter-mile, the half in 49.08 and three-quarters in 1:12.43 on the firm inner turf.
In the stretch, jockey Tyler Gaffalione kept his charge alert near the rail, outkicking the field, including a charging Mr. Dumas at the end, to hit the wire in a final time of 1:41.32 for the 1 1/16-mile course.
“I was a little surprised down the backside when I was all by myself,” Gaffalione said. “I thought there would be a little more pressure, but I was happy with where I was and how he was running. All the credit to Mike and his team, they had him ready today.
“Every time I reached back and threw a cross and when I got into him a little bit, he kept on responding and giving me more, so I was pretty confident coming to the wire,” he added.
Skychai Racing and David Koenig’s Somelikeithotbrown earned black type for the fourth consecutive race, entering after a third-place finish at 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy on June 6 on a Belmont Park turf course labeled good. Bred in the Empire State by Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables, Somelikeithotbrown posted his first stakes win since the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby in March 2019 at Turfway Park.
“It did but you have to let him run his race,” said Maker when asked if he was concerned about the speed holding up. “I thought his last race, he went a little too quick and opened up a little too much. But I thought it was a very credible race.”
Off at 8-1, Somelikeithotbrown returned $19.60 on a $2 win bet. The Big Brown colt, out of the Tapit mare Marilyn Monroan, improved to 5-3-2 in 13 career starts with total earnings of $546,838.
After crossing the wire, Somelikeithotbrown dismounted Gaffalione when moving from the turf course to the dirt en route to the winner’s circle. Both the horse and rider were unhurt.
Mr Dumas, also trained by Maker, finished a half-length in front of 3-2 favorite Good Governance for second.
“I was very high on this horse and it looked like he showed up this afternoon as well,” Maker said.
Halladay, Olympico and Seismic Wave completed the order of finish.
Live racing returns at Saratoga on Wednesday with a 10-race card, highlighted by the $85,000 Dayatthespa in Race 5 at 3:02 p.m. Eastern. First post is 12:50 p.m.