Always in contention, Rodman W. Moorhead III’s All the Way Jose glided to the lead on the final run down Saratoga Race Course’s homestretch, rocketed over the last fence, and drew away powerfully to a 14 1/4-length victory in Wednesday’s $65,000 allowance hurdle.
The Fields Stable’s Wanganui set the pace until All the Way Jose took command and easily held second, 3 1/4 lengths clear of The Elkstone Group’s Albany Road. Casual Creeper, owned by Magalen O. Bryant and trainer Jimmy Day, finished fourth in a field of nine.
A close second in a Saratoga allowance hurdle on Aug. 6, All the Way Jose gave Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard his first steeplechase win of the current Spa season, and Willie McCarthy, the current leader in the jockey standings, collected his first Saratoga win .
A four-year-old Senor Swinger gelding bred in Pennsylvania by Sheppard, All the Way Jose went off as the 1.75-to-1 favorite and ran the allowance hurdle’s 2 3/8 miles in 4:31.57 on firm turf.
Gus Dahl sent Wanganui to the lead immediately and, after a wayward jump at the first fence, set a steady pace with Merriefield Farm’s Witor in second and All the Way Jose tucked in right behind the leader on the inside.
They maintained that position until the end of the final run down the backstretch, where Witor tired and McCarthy tipped All the Way Jose outside Wanganui. All the Way Jose seized the advantage just before the last fence and flew over the jump to gain a daylight lead. Under firm handling, he drew away steadily to the finish line.