Starspangledbanner Colt Storms To Grade 1 Glory At Saratoga
The Joseph O’Brien-trained State Of Rest (3c Starspangledbanner - Repose, by Quiet American) stormed home under John Velazquez to land the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby on Saturday evening.
Stepping up to nine and a half furlongs for the first time, the Teme Valley Racing-owned bay raced in mid-division for much of the way and chased the leaders turning for home. Producing an impressive turn of foot, he ran on strongly to lead entering the final furlong and was ridden out to score by a length, with another two and a half lengths back to the third horse.
“The horse is actually a very, very nice horse,” Velazquez commented after capturing the $1million contest. “He didn't break very well, but I didn't panic. I just saved all the ground, looking for somewhere to go down the stretch and when I got him out, he responded really good.”
A maiden winner and Group 2 placed as a two-year-old, State Of Rest impressed connections enough for them to part with £160,000 for his half-sister by Australia at last year’s yearling sales, where she was offered by breeder Tinnakill House.
State Of Rest continues a terrific season for Starspangledbanner, who kicked off 2021 by siring the first two juvenile Group winners of the year.