Preview: Diana/Sanford Saratoga 7/16/22
Happy Diana Day!
The first Saturday card of the meet has eleven races co-featured by the Grade III Sanford and the Grade I Diana. These are two very competitive stakes races where you will need to go at least three or four deep to cover logical runners in any horizontal plays.
Race 8 – The Diana Stakes – Grade I
One Mile and One Furlong on the Mellon Turf Course
for Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
Chad Brown had his five year win streak in this race broken last year by Charlie Appleby who swept the exacta with Althiqa and Summer Romance. Appleby is back here today with Creative Flair and will take on four Chad Brown runners. Remarkably, Chad Brown trains ten of the fourteen horses nominated to this race.
While this is a compact field of six – it is a highly competitive race, and a decent case could be made for all of them.
- Technical Analysis: Nice Chad Brown filly has five career wins and has hit the board in eight of nine starts. Swept the Lake George and the Lake Placid Stakes in 2021 at the Spa. Last out she won the Galorette at Pimlico (96 Beyer) by getting to the rail and taking them all the way. She could be the controlling speed breaking from the rail. However, she has not yet won at nine furlongs in two attempts. Is she more a miler? Is this a touch too long, especially if In Italian pressures her early? This is The Other Chad. Dangerous.
- Creative Flair: Charlie Appleby trained filly ships in from the U.K. to run off a five month layoff. Her last start was in a win in Dubai at Meydan back in February at today’s nine furlong distance. That day she tracked the leader, got to the lead, and then held off a wall of horses. This filly raced twice last year in the U.S. She paired up 87 Beyers and was a decent third in the Saratoga Oaks Invitational – where she was coming late but couldn’t get to the winner. She’s fresh and ready to go and has won both times first off of extended layoffs. Jamie Spencer comes across the pond for the mount. If she is close to the 8-1 morning line – she is a major overlay. The Pick.
- Bleecker Street: Chad Brown trained filly is undefeated in seven starts – with five of those wins coming this year. Last out in the Grade 1 New York Stakes going 10 furlongs she was off the pace early, made steady progress on the far turn, and was let lose in the stretch to run past the whole field to earn a 96 Beyer while showing a nice turn of foot. She knows how to mow ‘em down and has a real nose for the wire. This is The Chad. Win candidate.
- Rougir: She had a good trip in the New York Stakes last out but didn’t show punch in the stretch finishing fifth as the odds on favorite for Chad Brown as she was defeated by Bleecker Street. Two back she won the Beaugay with a stalk and pounce trip (97 Beyer). Maybe the turn back from ten furlongs will suit her. But her New York Stakes performance looked a lot like her effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare race last Fall – where she was in position to make a move but was a one pace type in the stretch. The Other, Other Chad. Looking elsewhere.
- Dalika: Talented and versatile mare has won seven times in her career for Al Stall Jr. and appears to do her best work when she sets or attends the pace. In her first start of her six year old campaign she was a good second in the Grade 3 Mint Julep (94 Beyer) – where she set the pace but was run down late. Last two wins were over ground with cut in it – she should get firm going today. Can she stay with Technical Analysis early, and if she can, will she have enough left in the tank to hold off the closers? Questions, questions… Trainer Stat: Al Stall Jr. is 2 for 24 (8%) in turf graded stakes over the past five years. Use her to fill out trifectas and supers.
- In Italian: Chad Brown enters this one off of a third place finish in the one mile The Just A Game (94 Beyer) at Belmont where she pressed a very quick pace but then didn’t have enough left in the stretch to hold off the late runners. Two back in the Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby day she set the pace but was easily passed while holding on for second earning a 93 Beyer. Now she needs to get an additional furlong, but has been getting caught while going shorter and has to deal with Technical Analysis on the front end. The Other, Other, Other Chad. Passing.
Race 10 – The Sanford Stakes – Grade III
6 Furlongs on the Dirt for Two Year Olds
When you think of Saratoga – you think of great two year old racing and this is great two year old racing. Todd Pletcher sends out Forte and Major Dude as he looks to win this race for a record ninth time against a strong field.
- Boppy O: Won first out for Mark Casse at Gulfstream (60 Beyer) where he stalked the early leaders and was four wide turning for home but was able to run down the front three under a sustained drive. The first crop of Bolt d’Oro offspring are winning at a 29% clip sprinting on the dirt. Looking elsewhere.
- Major Dude: Won first time out at Monmouth for Pletcher with Johnny V in the irons. He tracked the leaders and under urging split foes at the quarter pole and drew off (59 Beyer). Showed good determination to split horses and when he got in the clear he was full of run. Another Bolt d’Oro progeny and the dam won twice on the dirt going a route of ground. Johnny V stays in the saddle after guiding that Monmouth win. Faces much tougher here today…water is too deep.
- Great Navigator: Handled the field easily in his first effort at Monmouth with an inside out trip that saw him win by five plus lengths after sitting in behind the leaders (70 Beyer) . From the first crop of Sea Wizard who only has three starters to date. There is legit potential for these Jersey based connections. Possible minor award.
- Forte: This Pletcher colt broke his maiden at first asking at Belmont going five panels at 1/5 (81 Beyer). He sat off the early speed and as they approach the quarter pole he tipped out and inhaled the leaders to draw away by seven lengths. Visually impressive performance. Irad choses this mount over the Kelly Breen trained Andiamo a Firenze. Win candidate.
- Curly Jack: Won in his first effort (72 Beyer) going five and a half furlongs at Churchill for Tom Amoss where he broke a touch slow but gathered himself, got through on the rail to take the lead, and pulled away in the stretch. He is from the first crop of Good Magic who are winning dirt sprints at a 31% clip from a 16 horse sample. Trainer Stat: Tom Amoss is only 3 for 35 (9%) with two year olds racing off a 31-60 day layoff over the past year. The same stat is 6 for 70 (9%) over the past two years. This is the rare bad stat for Tom Amoss who is amazingly consistent year in and year out. Passing.
- Mo Strike: Brad Cox trained runner earned a 70 Beyer in his debut win going five and half at Churchill. He was game and determined in the stretch to hold off late runner after being three wide down the backstretch and making the lead at the quarter pole. Possible slice of the action.
- Prove Right: Won second time out last month at Churchill (63 Beyer) going five and half panels by stalking the early leader and pulling away in mid-stretch. From the first crop of Justify who is showing early success with three winners and three second form eight starters. That win was against restricted company connected to sales price of the horse. Moves to open stakes company today. Faces too tough a group today.
- I’m Wide Awake: He handled New York state bred company in his debut at Belmont by gaining position on the backstretch after breaking from the far outside, pressing the pace and then drawing off in the in stretch (56 Beyer). Moves to open stakes company off the maiden breaker for Tony Dutrow. Came back to training with two bullet works off that win. Will need a significant improvement to contend. Lean against.
- Andiamo a Firenze: Kelly Breen trained colt won with ease on the front end at first asking over a sloppy sealed Belmont strip against New York state breds (80 Beyer). He broke the sharpest and was in control the whole way, he responded nicely in the stretch when asked and was wrapped up late. Moves to open stakes company today. The sloppy sealed track makes you wonder about that 80 Beyer. Can he repeat it over the Spa strip? He looks to be the fastest early on and has the nice outside draw. Jose Ortiz picks up the mount for his brother who takes the ride on Forte. Trainer Stat: Kelly Breen over the past three years wins a 31% clip (21/68) with two year olds making their second start 31-60 days after their initial race. The Pick.
- Roman Giant: First two starts were on the turf this spring for Steve Asmussen. He was moved to the dirt in his third career start, where he ran a strong second. Followed that effort up with a maiden breaking win on the dirt at Churchill (68 Beyer) by starting alertly and holding the lead the whole way. Will need to improve to contend here.
- Puttheblameonme: Broke his maiden at Parx in his first race going four and half furlongs for Jeremiah Englehart (46 Beyer). He broke well and gained the lead as they moved into the turn and then was just too good for the rest of the field. He has a couple of works over the Oklahoma training track including a bullet on July 3rd. Joes Ortiz picked the Kelly Breen horse to ride instead of staying here. Would need a massive improvement to win today. Too steep a climb.
- Valenzan Day: Finished a good third last out in the Tremont (68 Beyer) going five and half at Belmont. He was taken back early by Rosario that day but commenced a strong run turning for home but could not get to the top two. Additional half furlong should suit him as he was flying late. Earned a 76 Beyer in his debut win. Will be coming late. Minor award candidate