Bruton Street-US’s Snap Decision snapped away from front-running Zanzi Win after the final fence on Saratoga Race Course’s backstretch and romped home to a 38 1/2-length decision in Wednesday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle.
Jockey Willie McCarthy repeatedly looked back for competition and, detecting none, allowed the well-bred Hard Spun five-year-old to gallop home to the easiest of victories. Trained by Jack Fisher, Snap Decision went off as the 7-to-5 favorite and paid $4.80 to win.
Eve Ledyard’s Go Get the Basil, making his first start for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, battled on under Gerard Galligan to claim the place, a neck ahead of Lee Pokoik’s Roller Rolls On in third. Armata Stables’ Zanzi Win, making his first U.S. start for trainer Ricky Hendriks, finished fourth in a field of eight.
Snap Decision, bred by the Phipps Stable and formerly trained by Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III, is no stranger to the New York tracks and won two races on the flat early in his racing career. But he lacked sufficient speed to compete meaningfully in New York Racing Association optional claimers.
Acquired by Bruton Street after a third-place finish at Aqueduct in late November, Snap Decision has never been worse than second over fences. He had two second-place finishes, at the Queen’s Cup in April and the Iroquois Steeplechase in May, before his maiden win over fences at Monmouth Park on July 4.
The Saratoga allowance hurdle was the next step up the ladder, and Snap Decision graduated into the novice ranks with an impressive effort. He ran the 2 1/16-mile distance in 3:38.82 on firm turf.
A four-year-old who won his first jump race at England’s Plumpton Race Course in April, Zanzi Win showed some nervousness as he warmed up under Ross Geraghty, and he laid down a solid pace under Ross Geraghty.
Another newcomer to American racing, Leipers Ford Steeplechasers’ Tomgarrow, tracked Zanzi Win’s pace, while McCarthy allowed Snap Decision to idle along in third position. Those three maintained their positions until approaching the final fence, where both Zanzi Win and Tomgarrow began to tire.
Snap Decision scooted to the lead and steadily daylight around the final turn. McCarthy checked back at the top of the lane, in midstretch, and near the sixteenth pole as he allowed Snap Decision to decide the winning margin.