SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> In the Bowling Green it was only appropriate the horse with the green No. 5 saddlecloth, carrying the rider with the green silks was the fastest on the green inner turf at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Hunter O’Riley stormed down the far outside to nail his rivals at the wire and win the $250,000 Grade 2 race.
“He had to go after it,” trainer Jimmy Toner said watching the race replay. “He made a nice move at the end. He laid it all out there for us today. He always does. He tries and sometimes he can’t get there but he always tries. He never runs a bad race. Today he was able to get there.”
It was only appropriate French-born jockey Florent Geroux had the ride wearing the Fleur di Lis and shamrock green silks for Irish owners Sean Shay and Michael Ryan. With nearly every horse in position to make a move on the final turn of the 1 3/8-mile turf race, strategy played a major factor in the outcome.
“We weren’t going that fast but by the second quarter everybody was looking at each other, and there was nothing going on,” Geroux said. “There was pushing trying to get each other out of the way, and I was just sitting back there.”
Hello Don Julio led after 1 mile but he was overtaken by Sadler’s Joy, first-choice Ascend, Bigger Picture and Hunter O’Riley by the top of the stretch.
Geroux waited until the leaders made the turn to guide Hunter O’Riley down the center of the track to a rallying victory by a neck over Bigger Picture. Sadler’s Joy was third and Ascend took fourth.
“Perfect ride, he…
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