Prospect Watch: 8 exciting colts debut at Saratoga Saturday

Prospect Watch: 8 exciting colts debut at Saratoga Saturday
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

A terrific six-furlong maiden special weight for 2-year-olds will take place on Saturday over the Saratoga main track. An overflow field of 12 horses (including two also-eligibles) has been entered, and the entries are absolutely packed with well-bred and expensive first-time starters.

Let’s check out the eight unraced prospects in the field.


Saratoga Race 6: Maiden special weight (six furlongs, 3:51 p.m. EDT)

No. 1 Full Moon Madness

Age: 2

Pedigree: Into Mischief–By the Moon, by Indian Charlie

Purchase price: N/A

Trainer: Michelle Nevin

A son of three-time leading North American sire Into Mischief, Full Moon Madness was produced by the Indian Charlie mare By the Moon, winner of the Frizette (G1) and Ballerina (G1) during her decorated career. The latter victory came at Saratoga, so Full Moon Madness would be living up to his heritage if he shines at the Spa. Full Moon Madness clocked a bullet four furlongs in 46.6 seconds at Belmont earlier this month and can’t be dismissed from consideration on Saturday.

No. 2 Faithful and True

Age: 2

Pedigree: Good Magic–Rose Mind, by Street Cry

Purchase price: $450,000

Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset

Sired by juvenile champion Good Magic, Faithful and True is slated to become the first starter for the unraced Street Cry mare Rose Mine. The Rodolphe Brisset trainee sold for nearly half a million dollars earlier this year and has compiled an encouraging work tab (including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.2 at Keeneland), so there’s a lot of promise and potential here.

No. 3 Baie Longue

Age: 2

Pedigree: American Pharoah–Brienza, by Bernardini

Purchase price: $250,000

Trainer: Bill Mott

There’s a lot of class in the pedigree of Baie Longue. The chestnut colt is a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of a mare by champion and Preakness winner Bernardini. Baie Longue worked a bullet half-mile over the Saratoga training track in 48.6 seconds last month and followed up with a quick 48.2 seconds last week over the Saratoga main track, so Baie Longue looks like a colt to follow in the long run. Don’t be surprised if he improves with distance and maturity.

No. 4 Powerful

Age: 2

Pedigree: Nyquist–Antiquity, by Pulpit

Purchase price: $525,000

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Sold for $525,000 as a yearling, Powerful is a son of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, who matured early enough to win three Grade 1 stakes and an Eclipse Award as a juvenile. Dam Antiquity has foaled two winners from two starters, and Powerful has shown enough speed to breeze a bullet five furlongs from the Keeneland starting gate in 1:00.2, so all signs suggest Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has a promising colt in his barn.

No. 5 Balsa

Age: 2

Pedigree: Street Boss–Arbol, by Elusive Quality

Purchase price: N/A

Trainer: Brad Cox

The latest Godolphin homebred to debut under the care of two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is Balsa. As a son of two-time Grade 1-winning sprinter Street Boss out of a mare by record-setting miler Elusive Quality, there’s a lot of speed in Balsa’s pedigree, so sprinting six furlongs on debut should suit the chestnut colt just fine. He wrapped up his pre-race preparations with a quick half-mile in 48.2 seconds at Saratoga.

No. 6 Mullingar

Age: 2

Pedigree: More Than Ready–Wishful Splendor, by Smart Strike

Purchase price: N/A

Trainer: Bill Mott

It’s safe to say Mullingar boasts a productive pedigree. The progeny of sire More Than Ready have won seven Breeders’ Cup races (more than any other stallion), while dam Wishful Splendor has foaled three stakes winners, including Indiana Oaks (G2) and La Troienne (G2) heroine Juanita. Only time will tell whether Mullingar can live up to his elite lineage, but he breezed a quick five furlongs from the Saratoga starting gate in 1:00.4 last week, suggesting he’s one to watch.

No. 7 Phelpsy

Age: 2

Pedigree: Into Mischief–Secret Someone, by A.P. Indy

Purchase price: $1 million

Trainer: Chad Brown

The second of four Into Mischiefs entered in this field, Phelpsy sold for a million dollars as a yearling. According to Brisnet stats, Into Mischief sires 16 percent winners from first-time starters, giving Phelpsy an early-maturing aspect to his pedigree. But dam Secret Someone peaked at age 5 (when she won multiple stakes running one mile on turf) and is a daughter of Belmont Stakes winner and stamina influence A.P. Indy, so Phelpsy’s pedigree represents an appealing blend of early-maturing speed and late-maturing stamina. Trainer Chad Brown is off to a hot start at Saratoga, and three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is named to ride, stamping Phelpsy as an exciting prospect.

No. 12 Upgrade

Age: 2

Pedigree: Flatter–Margaret Reay, by Pioneerof the Nile

Purchase price: $550,000

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Upgrade is the second also-eligible entrant in this large field, so he might not get to compete. But if he draws in, watch out. Upgrade sold for $550,000 as a yearling and is conditioned by Todd Pletcher, who went 6-for-21 (29 percent) debuting juveniles over the Saratoga main track last year. A son of successful sire Flatter out of a stakes-placed Pioneerof the Nile mare, Upgrade has the pedigree to run long and will be guided on debut by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Upgrade looks like a promising colt with the potential to make progress in the long run.

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