Postulation Powerful in American St. Leger
Runnymede Racing’s Postulation impressed onlookers with a 2¼-length triumph in the Grade III $250,000 American St. Leger over 1 11/16-miles at Arlington International Racecourse on Saturday afternoon. Stalking comfortably in third early in the field of eight, the son of Harlan’s Holiday forged to the front with a half-mile remaining and kicked on stoutly through the lane under Jorge Vargas, Jr. Trained by Edward Graham, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred made his conditioner a perfect 2-for-2 at the International Festival of Racing following the 2014 Grade I Arlington Million victory of Hardest Core, who also raced for Runnymede’s Bentley family.
Crewman set the early fractions under Florent Geroux before quickly folding after nine furlongs, setting fractions of 25.19, 49.58, 1:13.82 and a mile in 1:40.96. Applicator, stalking under Jose Valdivia, Jr., ducked out abruptly at the five-eighths pole during the second lap, at which time Postulation took control of the race and proceeded to prove too powerful for his rivals. Kicking home after 1¼ miles in 2:07.65, Postulation gave his pilot his richest career victory and first graded stakes in a final time of 2:49.45.
The well-fancied Mike Maker-trained duo of Michael Hui’s 5-2 second choice Taghleeb and Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s 9-5 favorite Keystoneforvictory filled out the top three under Jose Ortiz and Julien Leparoux, respectively, while separated by 1½ lengths. It was another 4¾ lengths back to Tobias and jockey James Graham in fourth. Bullards Alley, who checked when Applicator bolted, was 3¼ lengths behind him in fifth under Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Sent to post as the 5-1 fifth choice, Postulation returned $12.40, $6.60 and $3.80. Taghleeb returned $4.20 and $2.60, while Keystoneforvictory paid $2.40 to show.
The victory was Postulation’s second stakes win in a row following a tally in last month’s $50,000 Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park, the same race Hardest Core used en route to Million glory. The win was his fifth lifetime from 16 starts, with the $147,000 first-place prize more than doubling his career bankroll to $293,769.
“I wanted to relax him. That was the plan, since it was such a long race, but he wanted to be on the pace,” Vargas said. “When I asked him, he just took off. I am very happy and the horse ran great.”
“When you watch his race at Delaware Park, (jockey) Alex (Cintron) said he couldn’t even pull him up and that the outrider had to pull him up,” Graham added. “I didn’t think there was a (stamina) question and I thought he would get it done. I don’t know, I guess this is just luck here (at Arlington).”
“I had a good trip, very clean,” Jose Ortiz said. “At the three-quarter pole I had to check a little bit, and wait for (Keystoneforvictory) to go forward.”
“We had a good trip,” Leparoux said. “We sat behind really good. From the three-quarter pole to the wire, we were in the clear and he ran good. He was trying.”
“I had a beautiful trip,” James Graham said. “Nothing went wrong. He just wasn’t good enough today.”
Alpha Warrior, Applicator and an eased Crewman completed the order of finish.