Five Iron Continues Roll in Saranac Stakes


Fred Allor's homebred Five Iron scored a third straight front-running victory Sept. 1, this time nailing down the first graded stakes win of his career in the $150,000 Saranac Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course .

After leading at every call in back-to-back stakes victories at Woodbine, Five Iron shipped to Saratoga for the Saranac. The pair broke well in the Saranac to cruise to a clear lead through :22.97, :46.76, and 1:10.90 fractions in the 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

Grade I winner Joha and Frac Daddy, a recent winner of a high level allowance race in his career debut on turf Aug. 24 at Saratoga, gave chase into the turn but could make up little ground on the easy-striding son of Sharp Humor.

At the top of the stretch, Repole Stable's 2-1 favorite Notacatbutallama took a run at the front-runner but Five Iron found more in midstretch to put away that threat on his way to the 2 1/2-length victory.

"The lead came easy to my horse so I let him run," said winning rider Luis Saez. "Coming for home, I still had a lot of horse. When I saw Notacatbutallama coming, I knew we could hold him off. He gave me everything he had to win this race."

Saddled by Brian Lynch, Five Iron completed nine furlongs in 1:48.31 on good turf with Notacatbutallama holding second, 2 1/2 lengths over Joha.

"I knew if he could get the lead and get left alone, he'd be very dangerous," Lynch said . "He's a very determined horse. I've never had a horse prick his ears when he makes the lead like that and run into the bridle like he does. He's a fun horse, and as he's gotten older, he's found his niche and become effective at it."

Five Iron returned $12.80 to win, $5.20 to place, and $4.60 to show. Notacatbutallama paid $3.70 and $2.90, while Joha returned $4.90 to show.

Five Iron won the Victoria Park Stakes June 16 on the Woodbine Polytrack and entered off a score in the Toronto Cup Stakes July 27 on the Woodbine turf. In 11 starts, Five Iron has registered a record of 4-2-1 with earnings of $381,060.

Bred in Kentucky, Five Iron is out of the Thuder Gulch mare Tee Off.

Tattenham finished fourth in the field of seven, followed by Front, Favor Factor, and Frac Daddy. Battier, Micromanage, and Saint Vigeur were entered for the main track only.