Saginaw continued his winning ways Saturday at Aqueduct, defeating Royal Currier to take down top prize in the 54th running of the Gravesend Handicap.
Owned by Drawing Away Stable, Saginaw notched his 10th victory of 2012. With Junior Alvarado in the irons, the 6-year-old gelding tracked Royal Currier through opening fractions of 23.37 and 45.83 seconds before drawing alongside the pacesetter and prevailing by a length after a stretch-long duel.
“He’s a class horse, and when I asked him he gave it all to me,” said Alvarado of Saginaw, who completed six furlongs in 1:09.40. “It was pretty much easy at the end. When we turned for home, I knew how much horse I had. [Royal Currier] was still trying, but I had plenty of horse left.”
Claimed for $30,000 in March by trainer David Jacobson and Drawing Away Stable, the 6-year-old gelding has won nine of 11 races for his current connections, including victories over fellow New York-breds in the Carr Heaven, Affirmed Success, John Morrissey, Promenade All and Fourstars Allstar Stakes.
“That was a legitimate horse he beat [Royal Currier]; Linda [Rice] always does a great job,” said Jacobson. “They ran really fast. I’m happy to see he can compete in open company now. The only other time he did was in May [sixth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap].”
With the winner’s share of the $75,000 purse, Saginaw has earned $507,650 in 2012. Overall, he is 16-6-2 from 34 lifetime starts and has bankrolled $739,190. He returned $3.10 for a $2 win bet as the 1-2 favorite.
Royal Currier was three lengths ahead of Isn’t He Perfect, with 2011 Gravesend winner Frazil completing the order of finish. Broad Rule and Hillswick were scratched.
Currently tied with Clean Jean and Winning Dubai with the highest number of wins in North America this year, Saginaw will be back to try for victory No. 11 on December 26 at the Big A when he returns to state-bred company in the $75,000 Alex M. Robb.
“We’ll definitely be back for the Alex M. Robb, provided he comes back OK,” said Jacobson. “He’ll let us know.”
–NYRA Press contributed to this report.