Scalding takes Ben Ali S. (G3) for second straight graded win

Scalding extended his winning streak to four straight races with a career-best effort in Saturday’s $300,000 Ben Ali S. (G3), winning the 1 1/8-mile race for older males by 1 ¼-lengths.

The 4-year-old colt, owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables LLC and LNJ Foxwoods, now has four wins and a second from six starts, with earnings of $306,150. The dark bay is undefeated in 2022, beginning with a maiden win at Gulfstream Park in January, followed by an allowance victory and a win in the Challenger S. (G3) in his stakes debut in March at Tampa Bay Downs.

Scalding passed his toughest test to date on Saturday with a superlative effort. After missing the break, he was three-wide around the first turn, but was well-placed in the clear by Javier Castellano for the backstretch run.

Entering the final bend, Scalding made his move for the front while still in the three path, taking over from Mighty Heart outside the quarter pole. He opened up a three-length lead in mid-stretch and easily held off Dynamic One for the win.

The final time on the fast track was 1:50.30, good for a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

“We’ve been the hopeful the whole time that he was this kind of horse,” said Shug McGaughey’s assistant trainer Anthony Hamilton. “He’s showed us so much in the mornings and he’s been so classy in everything he’s done. He’s taken everything that we’ve thrown at him and handled it plus more. It was nice to see what he did today.”

Scalding is by Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist and is out of Hot Water, who is also the dam of stakes winner Tracksmith and stakes-placed Tortuga.

Scalding winning the 2022 Ben Ali S. (G3) at Keeneland - Coady photography