Every year, the Saratoga meet produces many of the country's most precocious and promising 2-year-olds. Following Monday's swiftly run Hopeful Stakes, the cast of 2-year-olds exiting the Spa looks as strong as ever. As we take a look back at memorable 2-year-old performances this meet at Saratoga, mark these horses down as future stars to watch.
This son of Maclean’s Music put forth two of the most impressive wins all meet at Saratoga in the Hopeful (G1) and Saratoga Special (G2). The 95 Beyer Speed Figure he earned in the Hopeful is fantastic for a 2-year-old this time of year, and he beat two legitimate prospects on this list while doing so. He is the deserving early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Huge talent! Jackie’s Warrior makes it three from three in emphatic style under @JRosarioJockey for Steve Asmussen in the Grade 1 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga @TheNYRA… pic.twitter.com/3GLxea6esU— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) September 7, 2020
It is rare that a 2-year-old colt that is not a future Kentucky Derby prospect garners much buzz, but that is exactly what Golden Pal has done in his first few starts. The son of Uncle Mo and the terrific turf sprinting mare Lady Shipman, Golden Pal almost broke his maiden in his second start in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. He returned to the U.S. as the heavy favorite in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga and did not disappoint for Wesley Ward, blitzing his competition while earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. It would seem that turf sprinting is his future, but it will be interesting to see whether Ward tries this colt on dirt once more (he was second on debut) or goes long on the grass someday.
This son of Upstart made waves after his dominating debut run at Saratoga on Aug. 1. He powered home in the stretch to win by almost 8 geared-down lengths over a very strong field for trainer Chad Brown. The effort was enough to make him favored in the Hopeful Stakes, but the more seasoned Jackie's Warrior proved too much for him to handle. He did not disgrace himself one bit by running a well-clear second and paired up 90 Beyer Speed Figures in his first two starts in the process.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was raving about this son of Into Mischief following his smart debut win on Aug. 8. "He had probably two of the fastest gate works we've ever had here at Saratoga," Pletcher told the Fox broadcast from the winner's circle. After breaking a touch slow, Mustasaabeq toyed with his foes while looking like he would appreciate more distance. He failed to live up to the hype in Monday's Hopeful Stakes, finishing a distance third, but it is way too early to write this colt off. He broke slowly again in the Hopeful and if he can fix his gate problems, he can fulfill the promise he showed on debut in future starts.
#7 Mutasaabeq (4/5) debuts like a good thing in Race 5 from The Spa with Luis Saez up for Todd Pletcher pic.twitter.com/GrNbxDaV3g— TwinSpires (@TwinSpires) August 8, 2020
After an average debut run behind Reinvestment Risk, Team Merchants put it all together in his second start for trainer Doug O'Neill. The son of Nyquist beat a strong field, which included the highly touted Speaker's Corner. Speaker's Corner, a 4-5 debut runner from the Bill Mott barn, will likely win next time after enduring a troubled trip, but this day belonged to Team Merchants. He drew off in the stretch to win by almost 4 and should get better as the distances get longer, being by a Kentucky Derby winner.
— Pedigree Update (@pedigreeupdate) September 7, 2020
This Into Mischief filly burst onto the scene with an impressive 6-length victory in the Schuylerville Stakes to give trainer Timothy Hamm his first Saratoga victory. She was not able to make the Spinaway after a setback, but she is a filly to watch closely when she returns after two romping wins to start her promising career.
Simply Ravishing tipped her hand while winning going long on turf in her debut for trainer Kenny McPeek, who is not known for cranking up his horses in their first start. She then showed her versatility by drawing off clear to win the P.G. Johnson impressively. The P.G. Johnson was washed off the turf and moved to 7 furlongs on the dirt, but that did little to faze this Laoban filly. She is a New York-bred and has now won going long on turf and short on dirt. The possibilities are endless with this filly, but one thing is for sure: She will make lots of money for the McPeek barn.
— NYRA (??) (@TheNYRA) September 3, 2020
This Nyquist filly invaded from Parx following a sharp debut score and dominated the Grade 1 Spinaway by 7 lengths. While this was far from the strongest edition of the Spinaway, this filly drew away like she could be any type. Trainer Robert Reid has himself a top early prospect for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Kentucky Oaks.