Repole Stable's Overanalyze was confronted by Normandy Invasion down the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, but the Todd Pletcher juvenile fought back resiliently to reclaim the advantage by a nose at the wire.
Overanalyze formed half of the Repole Stable entry with Micromanage, and the duo went off as the 8-5 favorite. While Micromanage failed to live up to expectations and trailed home last, Overanalyze perhaps exceeded them, and contributed to a banner day for his connections. One race earlier, stablemate Unlimited Budget captured the Grade 2 Demoiselle for two-year-old fillies, and one race later, the team landed the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap with Stay Thirsty.
The winner of the Grade 2 Futurity over six furlongs at Belmont Park on September 30, Overanalyze next shipped to Churchill Downs for the Grade 3 Iroquois on October 28. The Dixie Union colt didn't sparkle on the step up to a one-turn mile, though, and wound up a well-beaten third behind Uncaptured.
Overanalyze thus had questions to answer in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen, his first attempt around two turns. By passing his distance test, Overanalyze put himself squarely on the Triple Crown trail, and earned 10 points on the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" scoring system.
With jockey John Velazquez sticking with Micromanage, Ramon Dominguez picked up the mount aboard Overanalyze. After stalking the early leader Delhomme through splits of :23 4/5, :48 and 1:12 2/5, Overanalyze launched his bid. He drew to within a half-length of Delhomme while reaching the mile in 1:37 2/5, but most spectators were probably watching a new development unfold wider out.
Normandy Invasion was uncorking a huge move from far back, making eye-catching progress as he passed rivals on the far turn. Although Normandy Invasion appeared to have all of the momentum at the top of the stretch, Overanalyze responded inside the final furlong to prevail in a final time of 1:50.
"At the eighth-pole, I would have said he'd get third place by about two lengths," Repole said. "I didn't think he had a shot; the fractions were slow. He's an experienced horse, a very, very gutsy horse. He's won a stake at six furlongs and a stakes at 1 1/8 miles; he's a very nice horse."
"Todd told me to let him run into the turn and to get him into a good spot," Dominguez said. "He had no problem at all laying second. He was doing it very easily."
"When (Normandy Invasion) came to me, he actually got ahead of me," the rider noted. "I wasn't happy about that. My horse was taking sand by that point, but I kept after him and he kept on coming. I was very proud of the way he came back at the other horse. The other horse never stopped running. It was actually my horse doing the comeback. I was very pleased about that."
"We thought he'd be prominent early," Pletcher said. "Actually, I thought he might be on the lead. He's a horse that won first time out going wire-to-wire at Saratoga in :57 (2/5). He's got speed and the ability to carry it. He's a ratable horse, tractable -- smart horse. It looked like the horse who finished second had a lot of momentum, but actually, when he got to Overanalyze it kind of emboldened him and carried him on again."
Delhomme checked in another three-quarters of a length back in third. There was a 16 3/4-length gap to Quinzieme Monarque in fourth, followed by Indy's Illusion, Keep the Canoli, Irsaal, Stormy Len, Vegas No Show and the tailed-off Micromanage.
Overanalyze, who returned $5.50, $3.10 and $2.10, sports a 5-3-0-1 mark and $344,381 in earnings. The bay colt was a front-running debut winner sprinting five furlongs at Saratoga on August 9, where he recorded a gaudy 101 BRIS Speed rating. He took a significant step up in trip to seven furlongs for the Grade 2 Hopeful, but faded to fourth after chasing the early pace. Overanalyze rebounded in the Futurity.
Bred by Diamond A. Racing Corp. in Kentucky, Overanalyze was a $380,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase. He is a half-brother to Meadow Breeze, who captured the 2006 Matron when it still held Grade 1 status. Another half-sibling, Mighty Monsoon, finished third in last year's Grade 2 Best Pal.
Overanalyze is out of the unraced Unaccounted For mare Unacloud, who is herself a half-sister to Ilusoria, the third-place finisher in the 2000 Matron. Ilusoria went on to produce multiple stakes heroine and Grade 3-placed Peak Maria's Way.