Brown looks to continue Saratoga turf stakes domination in Saranac
August 31, 2016 12:48pm
Camelot Kitten edges Airoforce in 2016 Hall of Fame.
Photo: Susie Raisher/NYRA

Of the nine graded turf stakes contested on the flat though last weekend at Saratoga Race Course, trainer Chad Brown has won all but three.
It's a pretty remarkable record, and one which Brown will try to add upon in Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Saranac. The meet's leading trainer has three entrants - all of whom who have won here this meet - for the 1 1/8-mile turf race, which drew a field of seven 3-year-olds.
Brown, who seeks his first Saranac win, will saddle Call Provision, Camelot Kitten and Ray's The Bar. Camelot Kitten is the most accomplished of the Brown trio and enters the Saranac in search of his fourth graded stakes win in 2016.
In the local prep on August 5 for Saturday's turf stakes, Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Camelot Kitten captured the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes by a nose over Airoforce, who will not run in the Saranac.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the mount on Camelot Kitten from post position 2.
Strike Midnight, the Hall of Fame's third-place finisher, has impressed trainer Leah Gyarmati with each of his three starts this year.
On June 3 at Belmont Park, the son of Smart Strike won a one-mile allowance in his 3-year-old debut. Among the horses he defeated that day was runner-up Inspector Lynley - one his Saranac rivals - who subsequently finished third in the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park. The allowance race's third-place finisher, Our Way, returned to win his next two races, including Monday's Better Talk Now at Saratoga.
In his prep for the Hall of Fame, Treadway Racing Stable's Strike Midnight finished second in the Manila at Belmont Park July 4.
"With each race, he seems to be getting better and better, and acting more professional," Gyarmati said. "I think maturity is part of it. But I think it's also experience, more than anything. We gave him some time off, after turf racing ended last year, and then we had to start all over again."
While Gyarmati loved the colt's effort in the Hall of Fame, where he was beaten three-quarters of a length by Camelot Kitten, she had hoped his closing kick would have commenced earlier. Instead, Strike Midnight moved into the clear with only a furlong remaining. With an outside move around the far turn, Camelot Kitten had the jump on Strike Midnight.
"It was a very impressive effort," Gyarmati said, "but also a little frustrating that we couldn't get out a little earlier, because who knows, I think we could have gotten there and won it, with a little more running room earlier."
Manny Franco rides Strike Midnight, who drew post position 4.
Isotherm, who broke his maiden last year at Saratoga on the turf, figures to move forward following his fifth-place finish in the Hall of Fame, which marked his first race since a second in the Dania at Gulfstream Park January 2.
Brown's other two, Call Provision and Ray's The Bar, are both seeking their first win in stakes company. New York-bred Call Provision proved very competitive in the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge, a race in which he finished a narrowly beaten third to Camelot Kitten, while making just his second career start. The Lemon Drop Kid gelding enters the Saranac following an impressive score against state-breds in an allowance race here August 11.
Ray's The Bar was a handy winner of a first-level allowance race here July 30. 
Completing the field are the aforementioned Inspector Lynley, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, and Copingaway, who rarely misses a dance. The Jaime Mejia-owned and trained colt will be making his 27th career start in the Saranac. On August 19 at Saratoga, Copingaway came with a five-wide move at the quarter pole to capture a one-mile allowance race by a nose at odds of 26-1.

Source: NYRA Communications


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