Revolutionary surges to win Withers
Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Odds-on favorite Revolutionary put on a furious surge in late stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. The 1 1/6-mile stakes is a prep for Aqueduct's $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6,
Revolutionary, ridden by Javier Castellano, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the eight horse field with seven betting interests. The entry of Long River and Valid was the 8-5 second pick. Valid went to his knees at the start and trailed the field early.
Setting the pace in the Withers was Siete de Oros along with Smooth Bert. The favorite was running last just five-lengths off the leaders.
Around the final turn it was Siete de Oros and Smooth Bert still on the lead with Revolutionary, trained by Todd Pletcher, beginning to gain ground. Entering the stretch the top two runners maintained their lead with Escapefromreality making a move.
Escapefromreality and Siete de Oros were in front down the stretch as Revolutionary surged between horses to enter the fight. The favorite was able to pass the leaders nearing the wire and notched a neck victory over Escapefromreality.
"I think the key with him is that you have to be patient," Castellano said. "I could have gone around horses at the three-eighths pole because I had so much horse, but I just wanted to teach him something, have him learn something. I knew he could get it done; in my mind it was just waiting for the best opportunity to make a move."
Siete de Oros held on for third followed by Amerigo Vespucci, Champion Boy, Smooth Bert, Valid and Long River.
The time for the Withers was 1:44.32 on a fast track.
"The horse has a tendency to not get away cleanly and got himself a little farther back than we would have liked," said Michael McCarthy, assistant to Pletcher. "Things went from bad to worse from there, but Javier didn't panic and had faith in the horse."
The win for Revolutionary, just his second in five starts, was worth 10 points as part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series. Owned by WinStar Farm, the dark brown colt earned $120,000 with the win and has total of earnings of $188,500.
Revolutionary returned $3.50, $3.00 and $2.10. Escapefromreality paid $10.20 and $7.00, and Siete De Oros paid $5.10 to show.
02/02 18:50:09 ET