Corfu (inside) had to show a combination of speed and grits in the Saratoga Special, his stakes debut (Photos courtesy NYRA/Adam Coglinese).
Corfu wasn’t joking around when he took the lead on Sunday in the Saratoga Special, blazing through the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.57 to take home the Grade 2.
Corfu took the lead from the beginning and was only ever challenged by Wired Bryan throughout the race with Wired Bryan second behind the Malibu Moon son during most of the race. Corfu set fast fractions from the gate and had to grit it out in the last strides as Wired Bryan made one final challenge to try and pass him before they hit the wire.
But in the end, Wired Bryan’s undefeated streak came to an end as Corfu held on to win by a nose. Danza made a late run to finsih third by 1/2 length while Lunarwarfare was 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth. Candy Dandy, who went off as the even-money favorite, finished eight lengths behind the top four in fifth.
"I thought [Wired Bryan] certainly would have been one of the horses, if not the horse, to beat," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "[Wired Bryan] ran a courageous race; we were just on the fortunate side of the head bob."
The win was Corfu’s first stakes attempt and kept his undefeated streak alive as the colt won his debut only 2 ½ weeks ago.
Bought by the Coolmore group for $675,000 at Barretts March 2-year-olds in Training sale, he was sent to trainer Todd Pletcher. Corfu was Pletcher’s fourth win of the day and jockey John Velazquez’s fifth of the day, going off at odds of 6.50-to-1.
"We've liked [Corfu] all along since we purchased him at Barretts," said Pletcher. "We felt like he was a very fast horse there, and we felt like he was a precocious 2-year-old. We're happy to get him started here and happy to have him win first time out. We were monitoring pretty closely how he bounced out of his maiden race and just wanted to decide whether we could turn him back on fairly short rest. He came back with a very good breeze, and I felt like that was the answer we were looking for. Luckily, he showed up today and had enough to hold on in a pretty fast race."
Corfu is out of Fashion Cat, a half-sister to Haskell Invitational winner Peace Rules and was bred by AGS Thoroughbreds Ltd. He is now under consideration for the Sept. 2 Hopefull Stakes at Saratoga.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
CORFU (INSIDE) AND WIRED BRYAN BATTLED IT OUT TO THE WIRE