Bruton Street-US’s Snap Decision, a New York favorite who was bet down to odds-on for his return to novice competition in Saratoga Race Course’s Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on Wednesday, surged past longshot front-runner Bodes Well inside the furlong pole and was geared down over the final 30 yards for an decisive victory.
Winner of the Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial on June 27, reigning novice champion Snap Decision won by 1½ lengths over Hudson River Farms’ Galway Kid, who outfinished Bodes Well in deep stretch.
Ridden by Sean McDermott, Snap Decision went off at 35 cents on the dollar and paid $2.70 to win after running the Kiser’s 2 1/16 miles in 3:54.38 on firm turf.
The Kiser victory continued champion trainer Jack Fisher’s dominance of the year’s hurdle stakes. In addition to Snap Decision’s two victories, Fisher took the Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3) on June 13 with Bruton Street’s Moscato, the likely favorite in Thursday’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) on the Saratoga course.
McDermott allowed Snap Decision to take up position in midfield early as Silverton Hill’s 31-to-1 Bodes Well grabbed the Kiser’s early lead under Thomas Garner, followed by Riverdee Stable’s City Dreamer and Galway Kid. As the field entered the Saratoga backstretch for the first time, jockey Michael Mitchell pulled up City Dreamer after his saddle slipped.
Leslie Young-trained Bodes Well set a steady pace while Galway Kid stalked him for the next mile, and they jumped the last fence at the end of the backstretch with a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field.
From that point, flat speed is decisive, and Snap Decision—by Hard Spun and out of the Phipps family that produced Hall of Fame member Personal Ensign—possesses abundant speed. McDermott asked the six-year-old to run a bit around the turn and turned up the pressure approaching the eighth pole.
Snap Decision hit the lead shortly after the furlong marker, and McDermott steered him to the inside as the battle between Bodes Well and Galway Kid took shape behind them. Darren Nagle drove Jonathan Sheppard-trained Galway Kid into the second spot inside the sixteenth pole and reached the finish line a half-length ahead of Bodes Well.
Irv Naylor’s Family Tree finished fourth, Belisarius was fifth, and Zanzi Win finished sixth.