Spa Diary: “Pretty cool” Midlantic stories converge with Call Paul
Call Paul wins the Saratoga Special. Photo by Taylor Ejdys/NYRA.
Teresa Genaro keeps her eye on Midlantic horses and people in Saratoga once again this summer in her Spa Diary.
by Teresa Genaro
A myriad of Mid-Atlantic stories converged on the winner’s circle at Saratoga on Sunday, Aug. 12, when Pennsylvania-bred Call Paul won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.
He is based at Monmouth Park. Delaware-certified, he made his first start at Delaware Park. His sire, Friesan Fire, stands in Maryland. And one of his owners, Michael Caruso, races in the name of his hometown, Bethlehem Stables.
While none of Call Paul’s owners—Caruso, Michael Dubb, David Simon, and Bruce Irom—were in town for the race, his breeders, Beatrice Patterson and Vicky Schowe were, and they were thrilled to see the colt get his picture taken for a graded stakes race at Saratoga.
Patterson and Schowe sold the yearling at last October’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale for $20,000 to Grassroots Training and Sales. Seven months later at the Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Michael Dubb went to $210,000 for him.
Standing just outside the winner’s circle, Schowe harbored no ill-will at the high price that Grassroots got for Call Paul; rather, she heaped praise on the facility for the work they did with the two-year-old.
“They just did a wonderful job with him,” she said. “They did a fabulous job prepping him for the two-year-old sale.”
The Saratoga Special attracted a field of only six, and by post time, two scratches brought it down to four. Call Paul was on or just off the pace for most of the 6 1/2 furlongs, and when the field hit the stretch, he and Tight Ten left the other duo behind.
Tight Ten made it tight indeed, running just to Call Paul’s outside, greenly bumping him as they headed towards the wire. Call Paul and Irad Ortiz Jr. were steady on the course, though, and at the finish line, it was Call Paul in front by a length.
For the fourth time this season, weather stymied Caruso’s plans to be in Saratoga to see one of his horses run. He and Dubb are long-time partners, and last spring, Dubb called him after talking with trainer Jason Servis.
“Mike said to me, ‘The horse doesn’t have a super page, and he doesn’t have super breeding. But Jason told me, ‘Buy him. This could be a Derby horse.’ And so far, the horse has shown everything that Jason said he was.”
He broke his maiden at Delaware first-out by 2 1/4 lengths, taking advantage of the purse incentives for horses that are Delaware-certified.
“At Delaware,” said Caruso, “maiden special weights are only $36,000, but he ran for $54,000.”
Call Paul is also eligible for bonuses in Pennsylvania and the Maryland Million, and Schowe admits that she’d love to see him run there in October, though it seems likely, depending on what happens between now and then, that his connections will have aspirations that include other graded stakes.
Servis said that the colt would likely remain in New York to train, with an eye on the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park on Oct. 6.
“It’s a dream to have a horse like this,” Schowe said, “and it’s one of those things where you don’t mind selling the horse, you just hope whoever gets the horse does the right thing by him. That’s always really important to Beasie and me. We want the horse to get the best of everything.”
Schowe bred the graded stakes-placed Sloane Ranger, third in the 2012 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2), but this was her first graded stakes win with a horse that she bred.
“This is pretty cool,” she said.