Among the many impressive horses that ran at Saratoga on Jim Dandy day was a first-time starter from the Todd Pletcher barn named Competitive Edge. The good looking colt, bet down to 4-5 despite the presence of a million dollar yearling purchase also making his career debut, would not disappoint. Making every pole a winning one, Competitive Edge could not have been more impressive, as he extended his advantage every step of the stretch to hit the wire more than 10 lengths in front of his competition. With only mild encouragement from John Velazquez, the Nancy Favreau and Kathy Psoinos owned juvenile completed the six panels in a snappy 1:09.89. Bred by WinStar Farm, and purchased for $750,000 at this year's Fasig-Tipton Florida March Sale, Competitive Edge will look to build on the big debut by stepping right up into Grade 1 stakes racing, in closing day’s Hopeful. As easy as he dominated his competition last month, you might suspect that there was not much behind him. Early results would say otherwise, though, and in fact, it might become looked at as a key race.
The two horses that battled it out for a distant second that day came back on Travers Day to make their second career start. Bayerd (Speightstown), who was third to Competitive Edge, won the race by a pole at 8-1, while Today’s Agenda (Monba) finished third after encountering traffic problems* that cost him second place. Their solid showing was more of the same for horses coming out of the big Competitive Edge win.
On August 6, Thirtysilverpieces (Badge of Silver) became the first horse from the race to make it back to the races. 6th to Competitive Edge, the Wesley Ward was dropped into a $75,000 maiden claimer, and won his second career start as the 5-2 second choice.
Ten days later, Sharm (Majestic Warrior) made his second career start after finishing 4th, beaten 14 ½-lengths by Competitive Edge. He did not win the maiden special weight at Saratoga, but his rallying third place finish at 13-1 was more than ten lengths closer to the winner at the finish than on Jim Dandy day.
None of the others left in the wake of Competitive Edge’s debut performance have come back yet, but with the first four to run again all having thrown in solid races at Saratoga, while for the most part, outrunning their odds, it makes you appreciate the romping victory all the more.
In preparation for the grade 1 test, the son of super freshman sire Super Saver has been working sharply. Since his sparkling debut performance, the bay colt has rattled off three solid works at Saratoga, including this morning’s four furlongs in :47.25. Competitive Edge looks to be in fine fettle just days before he seeks to become a grade 1 winner in only his second career start, which likely will be bad news for his Hopeful competition.
* - Sadly the trouble encountered in the race was a direct result of Ludicrous breaking down in the stretch, and ultimately needing to be humanely put to rest.