squares off against the up-and-coming Saratoga Snacks
Thursday at Saratoga Race Course in a contentious renewal of the
$100,000 John Morrissey for New York-breds.
The 7-year-old Saginaw
is 4-for-4 this year heading into the 6 ½-furlong Morrissey, a race
named after the former bare-knuckle boxer who 150 years ago was one of
the founders of Saratoga Race Course. Claimed for $30,000 by trainer
David Jacobson for Drawing Away Stable in March, 2012, Saginaw tied for
the most wins in North America that year with 10, suffering one of his
rare defeats when he finished third behind Saratoga Snacks in the Alex
M. Robb in December at Aqueduct Racetrack.
"He loves being here in
Saratoga," Jacobson said of Saginaw, whose most recent victory was a
come-from-behind, half-length win in the Affirmed Success on June 1 at
Belmont Park. "We are looking forward to running in the race. At this
level, against these horses, he will have to give it his best game."
With Junior Alvarado
riding, Saginaw will leave from post position 3 as the 9-5 second choice
on the morning line. He, like Saratoga Snacks, will tote 124 pounds.
The 4-year-old Saratoga
Snacks, trained by Gary Sciacca for Bill Parcells' August Dawn Farm, has
been first or second in all eight of his starts, including a 1 ¼-length
victory in the Shy Groom on June 30 at Belmont Park in his first 2013
"He's doing good," said
Sciacca. "This could be a stepping stone to the [Grade 1] Forego [August
31]; we'll see what happens. He had a good blowout on Saturday [three
furlongs in 37.22 seconds] and he's ready to go."
The 7-5 morning-line favorite, Saratoga Snacks drew post position 2 and will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Already a winner at the Spa's 150th
anniversary meet, having taken an optional claimer by 5 ¾ lengths on
July 20, Night Maneuver returns to stakes company for the first time
since a third-place finish 13 months ago in the Mike Lee at Belmont
Trained by Gary Contessa
for Darlene Bilinski, the 4-year-old gelding drew the rail under jockey
Rajiv Maragh and was listed at 7-2 on the morning line.
Completing the field are
a pair of veterans from trainer Mike Hushion: multiple stakes winner
Mine Over Matter and B Shanny, who were second and third, respectively,
behind Saratoga Snacks in the Shy Groom.