PathFinder Racing’s Mutasaawy fought past a game Aflutter to win Saratoga Race Course’s $65,000 allowance hurdle by 1 1/2 lengths on Wednesday. Victory in the 2 1/16-mile race was the second in a row for the seven-year-old Tapit gelding, who finished second in his only other jumps start.
Trained by Neil Morris, Mutasaawy went to the starter as the 1.10-to-1 favorite on the strength of late wagers and paid $4.20 to win after running the distance in 3:51.96 on firm turf.
Darren Nagle, currently atop the jockey standings, placed Mutasaawy in a stalking position behind the pace of Rather Be Racing’s Kremlin, who led to the last fence before being overtaken by Kate Dalton-trained Buck Benny.
Bernie Dalton, enjoying a strong Saratoga meet, pressed Buck Benny to a clear lead on the final turn before Hudson River Farms’ Aflutter took up the battle from the outside in early stretch. Ridden by Jack Doyle, Aflutter took the lead before the furlong pole while Mutasaawy came up the inside with Nagle using a left-handed whip to keep his mount on course.
As Buck Benny began to tire, Mutasaawy came in and lightly bumped Aflutter before drawing away to the finish line. Saratoga stewards examined the stretch run but left the order of finish unchanged.
Buck Benny held third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Aflutter, and Wendy Hendriks’ Any Given Royal was fourth.