Prospect Watch: 2-year-olds to know as Saratoga opens

By Keeler Johnson, Special to HRN
July 11, 2019 12:22pm

With Saratoga set to open Thursday and Del Mar following next week, you know what that means: another summer with the future of racing on display with 2-year-olds sporting regal pedigrees and seemingly unlimited potential.

Plenty of future stakes winners and, likely, a few Kentucky Derby contenders will debut at these respective meets over the next two month, and each Thursday, we’ll be highlighting some of the most interesting horses to keep an eye on.

Whether they boast strong connections, great pedigrees or impressive work tabs, we’ll cut through the entry lists and feature a half-dozen or so notable youngsters that appear to have bright futures.

Here’s a first look at the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday cards at Saratoga.

Thursday, July 11

Race 8 (Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes, six furlongs on dirt)

#7 Buxom Beast

Buxom Beast hails from a family of winners. No less than nine of her half-siblings have reached the winner’s circle, including Gourmet Dinner, a four-time stakes winner who prevailed in the 2010 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3). From the first crop of the physically imposing sprinter The Big Beast — a Grade 1 winner at Saratoga — Buxom Beast is a first-time starter facing winners in the Schuylerville Stakes. But with her solid pedigree, this Florida-bred filly might have what it takes to surprise at a price.

Friday, July 12

Race 5 (Maiden Special Weight, 5 ½ furlongs on dirt)

#7 Pure Wow

Trained by John Terranova II, this daughter of The Factor is a half-sister to Once On Whiskey, winner of the 2018 Los Alamitos Derby (G3). Purchased for $150,000 as a yearling, Pure Wow has compiled a steady work tab at Belmont Park and will be among the top choices in Friday’s maiden sprint for fillies.

Saturday, July 13

Race 3 (Grade 3 Sanford Stakes, six furlongs on dirt)

#2 Raging Whiskey

Yes, Raging Whiskey could only rally to finish in a dead-heat for third in his debut sprinting 4 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita on May 19. But if we’re being honest, that seemingly unremarkable maiden heat might have been tougher than the Sanford. The winner, Fore Left, came right back to win the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park, while runner-up Phantom Boss returned to break his maiden and win the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.

Raging Whiskey himself came back to win another maiden sprint at Santa Anita on June 2, prompting trainer Doug O’Neill to ship the son of Bourbon Courage across the country to contest the Sanford. Raging Whiskey’s pedigree might not be fashionable, and he sold for just $25,000 as a yearling, but his breeding doesn’t lack stamina. Raging Whiskey should appreciate the chance to tackle six furlongs in the Sanford. Down the road, even longer distances shouldn’t be any issue either, making Raging Whiskey a worthy addition to the watch list.

#4 Tomato Bill

This chestnut colt sold for a hefty $500,000 as a yearling last summer, not surprising since he’s a son of popular stallion More Than Ready out of the Group 3-placed mare Allez Marie, already the dam of black type stakes winner Workaholic.

Tomato Bill certainly lived up to his billing on debut at Delaware Park. Favored at 4-5 in a five-furlong maiden special weight, Tomato Bill flashed strong early speed and turned back a challenge to win going away by 3 ¾ lengths. Only time will tell if he can continue his ascent while facing tougher company in the Sanford, but considering his price tag, you know his connections are hoping he has what it takes to excel at Saratoga.

Race 6 (Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 miles on turf)

#3 Enforceable

Conditioned by Mark Casse for owner John Oxley, this gray son of Tapit bred by Clearsky Farms boasts a regal pedigree. As the son of two-time Grade 2 winner Justwhistledixie, Enforceable is a half-brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day and a full brother to four-time Grade 2 winner Mohaymen and California Derby winner Kingly.

Enforceable has shown promise in his first two starts sprinting on dirt at Churchill Downs, but will switch to turf and stretch out to 1 1/16 miles on Saturday. The added distance should help this stoutly-bred youngster, who could improve with maturity and make some noise this winter.

#9 Cloudbased

Bred and owned by Stuart Janney III, Cloudbased is the result of breeding Janney’s homebred mare Database (a black type stakes winner) to the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, whom Janney co-bred with Phipps Stable.

Database has already proven her worth as a broodmare by producing the Grade 1-winning turf miler Data Link. Cloudbased never threatened in his debut on dirt at Belmont Park last month, but that race was rained off the turf, and trainer Shug McGaughey isn’t known for sending out ready-to-win first-time starters. Cloudbased should run better while switching to turf, stretching out in distance, and making his second career start.


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