On Thursday, 2-year-old
turf horses will assemble for the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation,
the first of nine graded races scheduled for the final week of the 146th meet at Saratoga.
According to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, likely for the 1 1/16-mile race on the Mellon Turf are Creaky Cricket, making his turf debut; the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Designed for War, front-running winner on August 9 at the Spa and Kamarius, a seven-length winner at the With Anticipation distance on July 19; International Star, most recently second in the Rockville Centre on Belmont Park's main track to Bustin It; Nutty Futty, who comes in from Gulfstream Park; Startup Nation, sharp maiden winner on August 7 for Chad Brown; and Strong Coffee, who scored for H. Graham Motion on August 2.
The final Saturday of
the meet features two Grade 1 races in the $500,000 Forego, a "Win and
You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the $600,000 Woodward
at 1 1/8 miles, along with a pair of Grade 2 contests: the $300,000
Prioress for 3-year-old filly sprinters and the $250,000 Bernard Baruch
Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Probable for the Forego are last year's Grade 1 King's Bishop winner, Capo Bastone; Clearly Now, winner of the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint championship last time out; and Palace, who earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 107 with his victory in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on August 2. Mshawish, Private Zone and Zee Bros are questionable.
Grade 1 Whitney winner Moreno heads the list of probable starters for the Woodward. Also expected are Woodward runner-up Itsmyluckyday; Grade 2 Brooklyn winner Norumbega; Romansh, most recently seventh in the Whitney; Stephanoatsee, returning to graded stakes competition after three starts in optional claiming company; and Grade 2 Suburban Handicap winner Zivo, who carries a six-race win streak into the Woodward.
Multiple graded stakes winner Boisterous is among those likely for the 1 1/16-mile Bernard Baruch, along with Irish import North Star Boy; Sky Blazer, most recently third in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap, and Summer Front,
coming off back-to-back seconds in the Grade 1 Eddie Read and the Grade
1 Shoemaker Mile in California. Two-time reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan remains possible, as does Five Iron, Mshawish, Paris Vegas, Plainview, and Sayaad.
The six-furlong Prioress could see a field comprised of Milam, Miss Behaviour, Princess Violet, Southern Honey, Stonetastic, Sweet Whiskey, Taris, Tea Time and Thirteen Arrows, with Who's In Town questionable.
On Sunday, which also is Tom Durkin Day at Saratoga, the Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway is expected to attract Bonnie K, a recent maiden winner at Penn National; By The Moon, who broke her maiden on July 18; Condo Commander, a 12-length maiden winner on August 3; Darling Sky, who scored by 7 ½ lengths on August 9 at Parx Racing, and Florida shipper Polyushko.
The Grade 3, $150,000
Glens Falls for fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles on the turf looks to
attract a large field, headed by Waya winner Cat's Claw, making her graded stakes debut. Also probable are the Christophe Clement-trained pair of Aigue Marine and Tabreed; Angel Terrace, fifth in the Waya; Baffle Me, most recently fourth in the De La Rose; Caroline Thomas, seventh in the Grade 1 Diana; Emotional Kitten, Scampering, Tabreed, Viva Rafaela, and Watsdachances. Clearbrook, English Class, Royal Fury and White Rose are questionable.
Closing day is highlighted by the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds, expected to attract impressive maiden winner Competitive Edge, who scored by 10 1/4 lengths on July 16 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Florida shipper Dekabrist, Grade 2 Saratoga Special and Grade 3 Sanford runner-up Mr. Z, recent maiden winners Pride of Stride and Requite, and The Great War are also likely, with Hashtag Bourbon, and Wild Zamezi questionable.
Joining the Hopeful on the card is the Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds. Expected for the 1 1/8 mile turf race are Belisarious, Beyond Smart, Cabo Cat, Lafontaine, Michaelmas, Predicting, Ring Weekend and Storm. Can'thelpbelieving and Smooth Daddy are questionable.