Despite carrying five more pounds than all his foes in Saturday's $200,000 Elkhorn S. (G2) at Keeneland, Say the Word fought off a stiff challenge from Channel Cat in the stretch to win the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon by 1 1/2-lengths.
More Than Ready is arguably the hottest sire standing in North America over the past two months, accounting for eight graded stakes horses worldwide, topped by Frank Kilroe Mile (G1) winner Hit the Road and Australian Grade 2 winner Starelle (AUS).
Say the Word, toting 123 pounds, including Luis Saez, got away in good order in the three-turn event and settled into fifth, about six lengths from the leader as the field passed the finish line for the first time. Entering the backstretch, Say the Word pulled Saez closer to the front, but Saez wrangled him back to settle into a good rhythm with a half-mile to run.
Moving to the quarter pole, Say the Word and Channel Cat moved for the lead as one. Say the Word got his head in front with a furlong to go, but it wasn't until deep stretch that he pulled clear for the win.
The final time was 2:28.26 on the “good” turf.
"He just found a good spot (on the backstretch), and he picked up the bridle," Saez said. "I didn't want to let him go too early, so I tried to relax him. When we came into the straight (homestretch), he was pretty good. He took it away, and he won the race."
Say the Word now sports a 6-3-5 record from 29 career starts and has earned $609,292. Winner of last year's Northern Dancer S. (G1) at Woodbine, Say the Word was bred by Sam-Son Farm, who co-owns the 6-year-old with Agave Racing Stable.
Say the Word is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Danceforthecause. His third dam is Canadian Horse of the Year, multi-Canadian champion, and North America champion Dance Smartly. Say the Word is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Rideforthecause.