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Teeth of the Dog Digs in to Prevail in Dwyer Stakes

teeth of the dog
Teeth of the Dog stamped himself as a 3-year-old to watch the remainder of the year as he turned back a stern late challenge from Fast Falcon to win Saturday’s Dwyer Stakes (G2).

Trainer Michael Matz, who saddled Union Rags to a win in the Belmont Stakes (G1) over the surface June 9, now has another leading 3-year-old in the barn.

“He’s a pretty darn game horse, that’s for sure,” said Matz “He ran a real nice race, and I’m proud of him. This is a class horse.”

The winner, who won the Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard, was ridden by Joel Rosario.

“When [Fast Falcon] came to me, he was game,” said Rosario, newly transplanted from California. “He kept fighting and gave 100 percent.”

Teeth of the Dog returned $4 for a $2 win bet and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.34.

The victory, his first in a graded stakes, lifted Teeth of the Dog’s record to 3-1-2 from seven starts, including a third in April’s Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack prior to his fifth in the Grade 1 Preakness on May 19. The winner’s purse of $120,000 pushed his earnings to $326,250 for owner Jose Singer.

With Union Rags being pointed to the Grade 1, $1 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 25, Matz said possibilities for Teeth of the Dog include Saratoga’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 28 or the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Racetrack on Aug. 4.

“He’s run three races in six weeks, so we’re going to give him a little bit of a break right now,” said Matz.

The 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy also could be an option for runner-up Fast Falcon, who was six lengths ahead of early pacesetter Morgan’s Guerilla in his first graded stakes appearance for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.

“He showed he belonged,” said Zito of the 11-1 shot, who had finished second to Teeth of the Dog in the Easy Goer. “Our horse looks like he’s going in the right direction. We’re happy about him. It’s too early to say, but we’ll talk about the Jim Dandy and some other options.”

–NYRA Press contributed to this report.

Teeth of the Dog/NYRA photo