SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Main Sequence's one weakness as a racehorse appears to be his inability to break well out of the gate, and it manifested again Sunday when he spotted the field several lengths at the start of the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Race Course.
Yet just as he did in his prior start, the Grade 1 United Nations last month at Monmouth Park, Main Sequence rallied powerfully on the far turn and ran down the leaders in the stretch to win. In a perfectly timed, high-wire move by jockey Rajiv Maragh, Main Sequence caught determined favorite Imagining in the final strides to take the 1 1/2-mile turf fixture by a head.
Trained by Graham Motion for Flaxman Holdings, the 5-year-old gelded son of Aldebaran came home in a swift 2:24.72 and paid $6.10 for a $2 win bet as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven.
"[Watching the stretch run I was] just hoping he gets there," Motion said. "I didn't think he got there, actually. I really didn't think he got there, so when I saw the rerun, I was thought it was unbelievable."
Trained by David Lanigan in England before joining Motion's outfit this year, Main Sequence was 0-for-5 at the 1 1/2-mile distance but had run solidly in Europe, finishing second in the Group 1 Epsom Derby and fourth, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths, in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris as a 3-year-old.
-- Staff report