December 9, 2022

Sainthood re-rallies in off-the-turf Pennine Ridge

Sainthood wins the Pennine Ridge Stakes (Photo by Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos)

When heavy rain forced Saturday’s $194,000 Pennine Ridge S. (G3) at Belmont Park from the turf to a sloppy main track, it worked to the advantage of two colts — Sainthood and The Reds — that possessed no prior turf form.

Sent off as the top two betting choices in a reduced field of five, Sainthood and The Reds turned the nine-furlong fixture into a two-horse race in the final quarter-mile. In the final sixteenth, 9-10 favorite Sainthood re-rallied inside of The Reds and pulled away late to win by a length under Joel Rosario.

“I thought maybe (The Reds) got me, but I knew I hadn’t asked him for everything he got, so I knew he’d have a little more in the end,” Rosario said.

Owned by WinStar Farm and CHC, Sainthood paid $3.80 after completing the course in 1:50.57. The Reds was five lengths clear of Shawdyshawdyshawdy, who had seven lengths on Safe Conduct. Minuteman was the distant trailer.

With O Besos, Like the King, and Helium meeting defeat earlier on Saturday at Churchill Downs, and Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon losing the Preakness (G1) two weeks ago, Sainthood is the first participant from this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) to rebound with a victory. He finished 11th after qualifying for the classic with a troubled runner-up effort to Like the King in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) in late March.

Sainthood preceded that Turfway Park run with a photo-finish second in his debut at Gulfstream on Jan. 9, and a follow-up maiden score by a nose at Fair Grounds on Feb. 13. He’s now earned $201,900.

“I think he’s a versatile colt, much like his sire Mshawish, who we trained and won graded stakes on dirt and turf for us,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “This horse has run well on dirt and synthetic and slop today. I thought he actually ran a solid race in the Derby. He didn’t disgrace himself by any means for a colt as lightly raced as he was.

“His two works here on the turf I thought were pretty impressive. We came into today hoping to get him on the turf, but it’s also great to have one as versatile as he is who can run on just about anything.”

Bred in Kentucky by Edward Taylor and Springland Farm, Sainthood was an OBS October yearling purchase for $62,000. He was produced by the stakes-placed Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Hero.