It was the first test outside of Florida for Strong Composition and he proved he will be a major contender in the Indiana stakes program for 2016. Ridden by Albin Jimenez, the 3-year-old Indiana-bred son of Mancini was a strong winner to win his first career stakes race in stakes record time in the fourth running of the $100,000-added Sagamore Sired Stakes Wednesday, May 25 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Starting from post eight, Strong Composition broke alertly and gained a stalking spot along the inside as Containment and Marcelino Pedroza set early fractions of :22.58 and :45.35 for the six furlong race. Derby Express and Malcolm Franklin chased the leaders early on and prepared for a move around the turn as they were joined by El Coco Loco and Eddie Perez in pursuit of the lead. Jimenez took an opportunity before the stretch to move Strong Composition to the outside so he would have a clear path to work with in the stretch.
Strong Composition found his stride as the field moved into the stretch. The chestnut colt rallied past his opponents with authority and opened up on the field to win by two lengths. Swift Farms Inc.’s Containment, by Pass Rush, maintained his position for second over Greenhill Racing’s Derby Express, by Unbridled Express, who held steady for third.
“I was able to jog this horse (Strong Composition) on Monday to get a little feel for him,” said Jimenez. “He’s a very nice horse. Tony told me in the paddock to try and stalk third or fourth and it worked out perfectly. We were able to move to the outside and he really excelled in the stretch.”
Strong Composition paid $7.20, $3.80, $2.40 across the board. The Indiana sired colt is now trained by Tony Granitz for Frank Bertolino’s Monarch Stables Inc. based in Florida.
“This horse (Strong Composition) shipped 1,500 miles on Saturday and arrived here on Sunday,” said Granitz. “He was sent here from Gulfstream Park. He ran beautiful today. He’s a very athletic colt. Larry (Pilotti) had this colt in Florida and said to take the blinkers off because he had been hanging a little. I told him Albin would get him to finish strong. This was his first start against Indiana-breds and he really finished well today.”
Granitz, who has been based for years in Chicago, recently purchased property close to Indiana Grand. Although he still has a string on the Chicago circuit, he manages a string at Indiana Grand and is in the process of building a home in Indiana. He plans to relocate his family to the area. Granitz had major success with Lady Fog Horn last season, who was named Indiana’s Horse of the Year for 2015.
The final time for the Sagamore Sired Stakes was 1:09.43 is a new stakes record. The previous mark was established in 2015 by Son of a Nut and Malcolm Franklin in a time of 1:10.06.