the winningest horse on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA)
circuit this year, looks to notch
victory No. 11 and become the winningest horse in North America on
December 26 when he faces four other New York-breds in the $75,000 Alex
M. Robb at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 6-year-old gelding gained his 10th
win of 2012 against open company in the Gravesend Handicap on December
the Big A, moving into a tie with Clean Jean and Winning Dubai for the
most victories in North America. The son of Peruvian has been first or
second in all but two of his 13 starts at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and
Saratoga Race Course this year, one being a fourth
in a claiming race in his 2012 debut and the other a sixth-place finish
in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap in May.
Claimed for $30,000 by David Jacobson and Drawing Away Stable in March,
Saginaw won a starter handicap and an optional claimer for his new connections before going on to win
the Carr Heaven, Affirmed Success, John
Morrissey, Promenade All and Fourstars Allstar Stakes for state-breds.
For the year, he is 10-1-0 with earnings of $507,650.
Junior Alvarado will ride
Saginaw, high weight under 121 pounds and the even-money favorite on the morning line, from post No. 5.
Saginaw in the 1 1/16-mile Alex M. Robb
will be Bill Parcells’ Saratoga Snacks, who suffered his first loss of
the year on October 20 at
when he finished a game second to Lunar Victory in the $250,000 Empire
Classic, his stakes debut. The 3-year-old Tale of the Cat ridgling, who
has won a pair of allowance races and an optional
claimer, was to have run back in the Discovery Handicap but missed the
race because of a foot bruise, said trainer Gary Sciacca.
“He’s doing really, really well,” said Sciacca of Saratoga Snacks, who drew post position 2
at 6-5 on the morning line. “I expect him to run a big race. The distance shouldn’t be a problem.”
Ramon Dominguez, the two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey who leads the nation with more than $25.1 million in
purses earned, returns aboard Saratoga Snacks after a month off to recover from his own bruised foot.
American, who is 3-2-1 from eight starts at the Big A, returns to
state-bred company and conventional dirt
after a sixth-place finish on the turf earlier this month. The gelded
son of Quiet American drew post position 3 with Eddie Castro aboard.
Rounding out the field are Social Saul, most recently sixth behind Saginaw in the Promenade All, and Swag Daddy,
returning to action after finishing sixth in the Mike Lee in June at Belmont.