Gil Johnston’s Syros took the lead early in Saratoga Race Course’s rescheduled $65,000 allowance hurdle and pulled away in the stretch to a 5 1/4-length victory on Monday. Dr. David Richardson’s Harrods Creek, who joined the redrawn field after the race was canceled on the previous Wednesday, ran a strong race to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Umbraggio in a field of eight.
Trained by Jack Fisher, Syros went off as the 4.20-to-1 second betting choice behind Andre Brewster’s 1.70-to-1 Selection Sunday, who finished fourth. Syros, third in Saratoga’s allowance hurdle on July 23, ran the 2 3/8 miles in 4:31.79 on firm turf.
Robbie Walsh sent Umbraggio to the front at the start, but Syros cruised up to him entering the backstretch the first time and soon took the lead. Jack Doyle, who regularly rides in England but is spending the summer season at Saratoga, allowed Syros to set a steady pace, with Umbraggio about a half-length behind him.
Harrods Creek, ridden by Australian champion jumps jockey Steve Pateman, moved into contention on the final turn, while Sunday Selection made a brief move. Syros spurted away from his competitors at the head of the stretch and opened five lengths at the final fence.
Harrods Creek, a Saratoga stakes winner on the flat, continued willingly to maintain the place spot.
The allowance hurdle was the second victory of the Saratoga season for Johnston, a Chattanooga resident and a longtime steeplechase owner. Her Awesome Pearl won the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes on July 24. It was Fisher’s fourth victory of the current meet and widened his advantage in the year’s National Steeplechase Association trainer standings.