Wit, as his rivals in Saturday’s $150,000 Sanford S. (G3) at Saratoga discovered, is no joke.
Turning in a devastating run down the stretch in the historic test for juveniles, Wit thundered to an eight-length win under Irad Ortiz Jr., covering six furlongs in 1:11.20 over a fast track.
Fifth after the opening quarter-mile in :22.68, which was set by Trust Our Journey with Headline Report in close pursuit, Wit advanced into third after a half-mile in :46.08. Turning for home, Wit made a three-wide bid and easily reeled in the early leaders and was well clear approaching the eighth pole.
“He’s not a great horse breaking out of there,” Ortiz said. “I gave him the time to find his stride, and he did. By the half-mile, he started getting into a rhythm and he wanted to improve his position, so I started letting him do it by his own. By the three-eighths pole, I had to call his attention and he responded right away.
“For a two-year-old that was very impressive. He’s a nice horse.”
Owned by Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, and Gainesway Stable, Wit paid $4.20 as the 11-10 favorite. Headline Report held second by 5 1/2 lengths over 29-1 longshot Dance Code, who had stumbled at the start.
The order of finish was rounded out by Ottoman Empire, Kavod, Candy Landing, Trust Our Journey, Seize the Night, Due Vini, Maryland Brando, and Lucago.
Perfect from two starts, Wit also convincingly captured his June 5 debut by six lengths in the first race on Belmont Stakes Day. He’s now earned $134,430.
Bred in Kentucky by Rosilyn Polan, Wit sold for $575,000 at Keeneland September. By first-crop sire Practical Joke, Wit was produced by Numero d’Oro, by Medaglia d’Oro. Wit is a half-brother to Longacres Mile (G3) winner Barkley.