Saratoga preview: Sat 9.3.22 JCGC, Flower Bowl
Happy Jockey Club Gold Cup Day!
This Fall we get Belmont at the Big A while construction occurs in Elmont. Well, today we get a touch of Belmont at the Spa as two longtime Belmont Fall stakes are run at Saratoga for the second year. The Flower Bowl features a nice field of seven led by War Like Goddess along with the obligatory three Chad Brown runners. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a very competitive ten furlong affair on the dirt for the colts.
Race 10 – Flower Bowl – Grade 2
One Mile And Three Furlongs On The Inner Turf
For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old And Upward
The top four finishers from the Glens Falls Stakes return here led by Bill Mott’s War Like Goddess, who defends her title from last year.
- Capital Structure: Chad Brown enters this one off of a win against N2X optional claimers at today’s distance (83 Beyer). She went last to first and was spun seven wide as she made her move – but she kept on coming for the win. Gets the acid test today as she attempts a graded stakes effort for the first time since December 2020. Passing.
- Flanigan’s Cove: Tried stakes company for the first time last out in the Glens Falls and was a decent fourth (93 Beyer). She was at the back of the pack and went wide on the turn as she made her move but couldn’t sustain the drive in the lane and flattened out. In the two career wins (MSW, N1X) she was closer to the pace and used her move to get to the front. When she is too far back she can’t make up 10 plus lengths, it’s more of a spurt move than a long sustained drive. Speed figs are low for this group. Exotic candidate.
- 3. Virginia Joy: German bred mare had a nice beginning to her five year old season for Chad with wins in The Very One at Gulfstream (96 Beyer) and in the Sheepshead Bay (100 Beyer) both as the odds on Faced a stronger field in the New York Stakes where she ran well but was no match for stable mate Bleecker Street finishing fourth (94 Beyer). Last time in the Glens Falls she had a good trip but couldn’t keep up with War Like Goddess late. Three for four at today’s eleven furlong distance. Value play and potential threat to top one.
- 4. War Like Goddess: Defending champion of this race is eight for ten in her career and is two for two this year. Last out she won very comfortably in the Glens Falls Stakes (97 Beyer) where she sat a trip, tipped out at the quarter pole, and drew off in the final sixteenth under a hand ride to win at 2/5. That was her first start since April when she won the Bewitched at Keenland (96 Beyer). Stalk and pounce type is three for three over this track. Don’t be fooled by those last two Beyer figs – she lays over this field. The Pick.
- Coastana: Cherie DeVaux moves this one up to graded stakes company after running fourth (79 Beyer) a month ago over this track against optional claimer company where Capital Structure defeated her. That was a good performance in her first start in almost a year. Second race off the layoff may see an improvement in this longshot runner. Underneath option at a big price.
- Temple City Terror: She was a good second in the Glens Falls (95 Beyer) last out but was no match for War Like Goddess. She got a nice inside stalking trip but War Like Goddess glided away from her with little effort. Her last win was at Churchill Downs in the overnight Keertana Stakes in May (91 Beyer) where she went last to first under a sustained drive to repeat in that overnight stakes. She has regularly hit the board in graded stakes but has never earned the top prize. Gets a piece.
- Marvelous Maude: Chad Brown trained filly has never been off the board in eight career starts with four wins to her name. Consistent performer moved from state bred to open N1X company last out and won with a career Beyer top (85) by sweeping by the pack on the turn. She was originally scheduled to run in the state bred Yaddo Stakes last Friday – but that race was rained off the turf – so she was redirected here. She was the ML favorite last Friday and will be a lot longer here as she tries graded stakes company for the first time. She may be the pace in an otherwise paceless event as she goes longer that she has previously attempted. Bottom side of exotics.
Race 11 – Jockey Club Gold Cup – Grade I
One Mile And A Quarter on the Dirt On For Three Year Olds And Upward
Todd Pletcher sends out four of the eight runners in a nice renewal of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
- Tax: Won his first race off of a year and half layoff in the Battery Park Stakes at Delaware Park where he broke alertly from the one hole and took them all the way while under pressure in the stretch (99 Beyer) over a sloppy surface Has been working steadily in advance of this race including a couple of sharp works. Second off the very long layoff. Lasix comes OFF and his performances the two efforts without Lasix were poor. He could surprise, but I am passing.
- Olympiad: Failed to fire in the Whitney – he had decent position on Life is Good but couldn’t make any progress and was empty late fading to a distant fourth (93 Beyer). Life is Good just may have been too good for him. Bill Mott had this one in very good form before that race winning five straight including four graded stakes. Those wins included the Stephen Foster where he earned a 111 Beyer. He has good tactical speed and uses that to get position near the lead and then pounces. Doesn’t face anyone today that is as talented as Life is Good – but does try ten furlongs for the first time. Should sit a trip off of Tax drawn just inside of him. Look for a rebound performance today. The Pick.
- Untreated: Attempts to win his first stakes race after finishing third in both the Pimlico Special (96 Beyer) and Suburban Stakes (98 Beyer) while finishing behind several of his rivals today. In both efforts he struck the lead early but was not able to hold off the late runners in the stretch. Should be near the early pace again today. Rosario moves to Americanrevolution. Know him early.
- Chess Chief: Dallas Stewart moves this one back to Grade 1 company after running a distant third in the restricted Alydar Stakes over this track last month (86 Beyer) where they were all left chasing Art Collector. That was his best result of the year as he finished well back his two prior efforts. Would appear to be outclassed here. Potential late move. Looking elsewhere.
- Americanrevolution: How many Cigar Mile winners had previously won the New York Derby at Finger Lakes? Americanrevolution – that’s it! That’s the list. Well, the winner of the 2021 Cigar Mile comes in off of a decent second in the Stephen Foster (108 Beyer) where he was full of run in the stretch but couldn’t close down Olympiad. Two back in the Blame Stakes he may have needed a race off of a seven month layoff as he was caught by the field in mid-stretch. Versatile stalk and pounce type who fits this group. Had planned to go in the Whitney but was a tactical scratch as the same connections also own Life Is Good. Picks up Rosario. Win candidate.
- First Captain: Enters here off a bit of break after running a very game second in the Suburban Stakes (98 Beyer) going ten furlongs. Two back this Pletcher trained colt won the Pimlico Special (98 Beyer) via a long sustained half mile drive to just get up in the shadow of the wire. Going ten furlongs suits him. Stalker who just keeps coming. Possible slice.
- Keepmeinmind: Pletcher trained colt returned off of an eleven month layoff earlier this meet to handle N1X company going nine furlongs (94 Beyer) where he sat a trip, tipped out, and cruised by the leaders. Prior to that effort he was last seen running fourth in the 2021 Travers. He was also fourth in the Preakness and very good second in the 2021 Jim Dandy. Today he is second off the long layoff and is back in graded stakes company. Trainer Stat: Pletcher runners who are second off of similar long layoff hit the board 50% of the time and win at a 26% rate. Should step forward second time back. Potential at a price.
- Dynamic One: Winner of his last two races for Pletcher in the Suburban at Belmont (98 Beyer) and Blame Stakes (99 Beyer) at Churchill. In both cases he made long sustained drives. Showed he could handle the ten furlongs last time by out battling First Captain to the wire in the Suburban. He should be coming from well off the pace and I don’t think the race dynamics will be in his favor. Minor award.