- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Competitive Edge took the lead after a half-mile and cruised home a 5 ¾-length winner in the Grade 1 $350,000 Hopeful Monday at Saratoga Race Course.

Ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the 2-year-old half brother of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver ran seven furlongs in 1:24.11 over a good main track and paid $3.30, $2.10 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in a field of seven juveniles.

After acting up in the paddock and starting gate, I Spent It returned $2.40 and $2.30 for second, while 29-1 long shot Sharm came running late and paid $4.10 to show. Requite, Dekabrist, Signature Cat and Maratik completed the order of finish.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos and Michael Tabor, Competitive Edge broke his maiden with a 10 ¾-length triumph July 26 at Saratoga. Purchased for $750,000, he has now earned $259,800.

Velazquez picked up his second stakes victory of the day aboard Ring Weekend in the co-feature, the Grade 2 $300,000 Saranac, collaring pacesetter Smooth Daddy at the top of the stretch and pulling clear to a 2 ¾ length triumph.

Favored at 3-2 in a field of seven 3-year-old grass horses, Ring Weekend ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.48 and paid $5.10, $3.30 and $2.70. Sent off at 15-1, Smooth Daddy returned $12 and $6.60 for second, and Cabo Cat paid $3.80 to show.

Monday marked the end of Saratoga’s annual 40-day summer meet. Pletcher earned his 11th training title and fifth in a row with 28 victories, while Javier Castellano led all jockeys with 58 wins and Michael Dubb was the top owner with 14 wins.

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