Long trip for Exaggerator

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Exaggerator made the cross-country trip from Southern California by plane and road to run in today’s $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

The 2-year-old son of Curlin left trainer Keith Desormeaux’s barn in California earlier this week, flew to Kentucky and then vanned up to Saratoga Springs, arriving at Barn 23 Thursday. Julie Clark, Desormeaux’s girlfriend and assistant overseeing the string at Saratoga while he remains at Del Mar, is looking after the colt and likes what she sees so far.

“We’ve always kind of liked him,” Clark said about Exaggerator as she tended to barn chores Friday morning. “He’s a high-energy horse. His first race he got dirt in his face and didn’t like that, kind of veered around the track a little bit and had a real nice finish. So Keith was excited when we got him back for the second time. And he showed a lot of heart, he’s got a little grit to him.”

The dark bay or brown colt appeared no worse for the wear from his travels during his first gallop over the Saratoga track Friday. Clark led him onto the main track shortly before it closed at 10 a.m. He pranced sideways as he walked through the gap and began jogging. When he galloped past the second time he was moving smoothly, unconcerned about the other horses leaving the track. His coat had a healthy shine and he showed no visible signs of fatigue from the trip.

Exaggerator made his debut June 5 at Santa Anita Park, finishing fifth in a 5-furlong maiden special weight. He won going 6 furlongs July 25 at Del Mar, getting up to win by a nose.

To read the rest of the Saratoga Special preview, download Sunday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.