By Heather Pettinger —-
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Zilla Racing Stable’s Celtic Chaos put in a late run in Thursday’s featured race to pick up his second straight stakes victory in the $100,000 John Morrissey for New York-breds at 6 ½ furlongs at Saratoga Race Course.
Brimstone led the field of nine over the good and sealed track, covering the opening quarter-mile in 21.74 seconds and the half in 44.96 as the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Celtic Chaos settled patiently in the two path towards the back of the pack.
Ostrolenka hit the front near the eighth pole as Brimstone began to fade along the inside as Celtic Chaos, with Eric Cancel aboard, began to close ground as the field turned for home and surged down the middle of the track to get on even terms with Ostrolenka, digging in to win by a neck.
Sent off at 5-1, Celtic Chaos returned $13.40 for a $2 win wager. The final time was 1:17.65.
“Every single time I ride this horse he gives me 100 percent,” said Cancel. “Today, we had a wonderful trip. He felt really comfortable where he was along the inside and he was relaxed. He was running so I had to take swing him out. Like always, he was there for me and finished strong.”
The win extended the 4-year-old Dublin colt’s win streak to three, including a one-length win in an April 7 allowance optional claimer and a neck victory over Eye Luv Lulu in the Affirmed Success for state-breds on April 28 at Belmont Park. Improving his lifetime record to 6-4-3 from 19 starts, Celtic Chaos boosted his career earnings to $380,780.
“Eric gets along great with this horse and everything worked out today,” said McLaughlin. “It’s great for the Zilla group [because] so many of them are from Saratoga and they have a lot of passion for the game. We wanted a fast pace when we saw Bustin It as well as a couple others scratch. Thankfully, it worked out the way we wanted it and we were able to run our race.”
Papa Shot checked in third, 2 ½ lengths behind the runner-up. T Loves a Fight, Gypsum Johnny, Brimstone, Eye Luv Lulu, Fish Trappe Road, and Breakin the Fever completed the order of finish. Weekend Hideaway, Bustin It and Candid Desire were scratched.