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Ascend Wins Opening Weekend at Saratoga TDN

7th-SAR, $90,000, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($62,500), 7-23, 3yo/up, 1 1/16mT, 1:41.78, fm.

ASCEND (g, 4, Candy Ride {Arg}–Ghost Dancing {SW, $163,897}, by Silver Ghost), a maiden winner over the main track at Gulfstream Feb. 18, added a Keeneland turf allowance Apr. 16 and was coming off runner-up efforts over the Belmont lawn May 14 and June 30. Sent off at 7-2, the gray gelding chased the pace from third, was tipped out three wide at the top of the lane, took charge late and spurted clear to win by two lengths. Slim Shadey (GB) (Val Royal {Fr}) overcame a trafficplagued trip to be second. The winner is a half-brother to Moro Tap (Tapit, GSP, $161,816).

Lifetime Record: 9-3-4-0, $179,130. O-Stone Farm and Madaket Stables LLC; B-Stone Farm (KY); T-H. Graham Motion.