With summer fading, and just one day left before the seven-week Spa show comes to an end, Dutrow and So Many Ways returned for an encore Sunday, this time after securing an even more prestigious prize – the 121st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway.
Long shot Sweet Shirley Mae, 22-1, made a long drive under jockey Kent Desormeaux from the three-eighths pole to take second from Teen Pauline, who faded to third. Seasoned Warrior and Corail completed the field.
Baby J and Dreaming of Julia were scratched.
So Many Ways, a daughter of freshman sire Sightseeing, ran the seven furlongs in 1:23.74. As the 4-1 third choice, she paid $9.80 for a $2 win bet.
“This filly came to Saratoga an infant and just as the weeks went by you could see her turning, putting on weight, growing, maturing,” said Dutrow, who won last year’s Spinaway with Grace Hall. “I didn’t know where we would finish today, but I was thinking we’d run better than we did in the Schuylerville.”
Owned by Maggi Moss, So Many Ways may have entered the Spinaway as the most accomplished filly, with a stakes win already under her belt, but not necessarily the fastest. Teen Pauline had set a track record in her debut July 25, running five furlongs in 56.53 seconds.
In the Spinaway, Teen Pauline had to prove she could stretch her speed to seven furlongs, while So Many Ways had to prove that her professionalism matched her opponent’s raw talent.
When the gate opened, Seasoned Warrior broke on top but quickly fell back as Teen Pauline cut through an opening quarter-mile in 22.29 seconds and a half in 45.13, all the while hounded by Corail.
At the five-sixteenths pole, So Many Ways, always within three lengths, reached Teen Pauline as Corail fell away and the two briefly dueled before the winner asserted herself and pulled away.
“I had a beautiful trip,” Castellano said. “She’s pretty quick out of the gate and she settled beautiful behind the two horses. Those two pace-makers, they helped to set up my race. But I think if it wasn’t that way, no matter what, she was going to be in the bridle today, and she was going to be close to the pace and give me the kick the way she did.
Dutrow said he had no immediate plans for So Many Ways, who is undefeated in three starts and increased her earnings to $307,800, but he reveled in the moment.
“I’m not surprised, but I sure am happy,” he said. “She came out of there with running on her mind. We’ve won [the Spinaway] two years in a row now, and I can’t believe where I’m standing.”