Horse named for Mets' Syndergaard wins Funny Cide Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) Turns out, Syndergaard is awfully fast on the racetrack, too.

A horse named after hard-throwing New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard won the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga on Friday, blowing away the competition by eight lengths.

The team made mention of Syndergaard's racing success upstate in its game notes Friday and said the 2-year-old colt is an early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby.

In a release provided by the New York Racing Association, winning trainer Todd Pletcher said: ''Yeah, he came with the heater today.''

The Mets said track announcer Larry Collmus exclaimed that Syndergaard was ''throwing the hammer down.''

NYRA said Syndergaard the horse is owned by Eric Fein, a Mets fan from nearby Long Island.

Syndergaard the pitcher - nicknamed Thor - has quickly blossomed into a horse on the mound in two seasons with the 2015 NL champions. And the 6-foot-6, 242-pound right-hander would like to meet his namesake, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

Officials are trying to set that up sometime soon, after the horse returns to Belmont Park, which is only a 12-mile drive from Citi Field.

Fein is not the only thoroughbred owner with a soft spot for the Mets, though. NYRA said Jonathan Green owns a horse named DeGrom, after pitcher Jacob deGrom, while Michael Imperio has saddled Cespedes, for slugger Yoenis Cespedes, and Mr Met in his stable with blue and orange colors.

DeGrom also ran Friday but wasn't quite as successful as Syndergaard, finishing third in the fifth race at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

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