Surly Furious, by Upstart, wins the Forego Stakes

Surly Furious got a perfect forwardly placed trip and easily held off a classy foe in Arrest Me Red for a 1 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Forego Stakes for older sprinters Saturday night at Turfway Park.

Surly Furious ($5.90) and Luan Machado pressed millionaire Sir Alfred James, who raced to the inside, through a sharp opening quarter in 22.97 seconds on the Tapeta. The eventual winner took over through the half in 46.31 seconds. He shook loose by more than two lengths in the stretch, and easily had enough to hold sway, finishing the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.08.

Arrest Me Red, who had tracked in third in the early going, angled out for the drive, while Surly Furious easily held him at bay, Arrest Me Red was pulling clear of the rest of the field, finishing 3 3/4 lengths clear of third-place Bourbon Heist. They were followed, in order, by Storm Daddy, favored Night Time – who was last after the opening half and never factored in – Condemn, and the fading Sir Alfred James.

This was the fourth career stakes win for Surly Furious, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Glenn Wismer for Novogratz Racing Stables. He won the 2022 Presque Isle Mile, and the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Karl Boyes Memorial at the same track. While all his stakes wins have been on Tapeta, Surly Furious was also multiple graded stakes-placed on dirt last year, finishing third in both the Grade 3 Challenger at Tampa and Grade 3 Ghostzapper at Gulfstream, and second, beaten less than a length, in the Grade 3 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes at Mountaineer.

While Surly Furious looks to be continuing in good form, runner-up Arrest Me Red also looks poised to move forward. The Wesley Ward trainee was seeking his first win since taking the Grade 2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint in May 2022, and the Forego marked his first start since September and first on a synthetic surface.