2008 Gotham Stakes Recap
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com
Visionaire charges out of fog to win sloppy Gotham Stakes by nose at Aqueduct
March 8, 2008 Visionaires connections skipped the tougher Louisiana Derby won by Pyro and were rewarded with a just-in-time nose victory in the 56th running of the $250,000 Gotham Stakes-G3 at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Well back early and not handling the sloppy sealed track, Visionaire apparently advanced inside late on the final turn (you couldnt see anything because of the fog), swung outside for the drive and showed up just before the wire to nip Texas Wildcatter by a nose in the final strides. The latter, racing with blinkers on for the first time, appeared to relish the wet going. Stalking fractions of 23.78, 46.37 and 1:11.40 set by favorite Saratoga Russell, Texas Wildcatter opened up into the stretch, got the mile in 1:37.71 and appeared to be the winner until Visionaire came out of nowhere with a big late run to surpise him (and everyone else in the grandstand who couldnt see anything) late. The final time for the mile and sixteenth was 1:44.60 and earned the winner a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.
Longshot Larrys Revenge ($36.25-1) finished third, 7 -lengths back of the top two after staying close on the outside to the stretch. It was another 1 3/4-lengths back to Roman Emperor in fourth. Favored Saratoga Russell faded to eighth after setting the pace for six furlongs, while previously undefeated second choice Giant Moon faded to finish ninth and last - he apparently did not like the surface at all.
Trained by 2006 Kentucky Derby winning trainer Michael Matz for Team Valor and ridden by underrated jockey Jose Lezcano, Visionaire came into the Gotham off a third place finish behind Pyro in the Risen Star Stakes. The 3-year-old chestnut colt by Grand Slam-Scarlet Tango by French Deputy paid $11 to win and increased his lifetime earnings to $228,260 from a record of 3-1-1 in five starts.
Visionaire will now be pointed towards either the Wood Memorial-G1 at Aqueduct or the Blue Grass Stakes-G1 at Keeneland.
Gotham Stakes Results and Payoffs
March 8, 2008 - 9th Race - Aqueduct
10 Visionaire $11.00 $5.60 $3.80
7 Texas Wildcatter $5.70 $3.50
8 Larrys Revenge $10.80
3 Roman Emperor
$2 Exacta 10-7 paid $84.50
$2 Trifecta 10-7-8 paid $1305.00
$2 Superfecta 10-7-8-3 paid $6,599.00