2022 Sanford Stakes Exotics Plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 14th, 2022

A dozen fine juvenile prospects will travel six furlongs on the Saratoga dirt in Saturday’s $175,000 Sanford S. (G3). Conditioner Todd Pletcher will saddle a pair of exciting youngsters in the field, and I believe that the race will go through each of his trainees.

#2 Major Dude (10-1) earned a modest 78 Brisnet Speed figure for his debut victory at Monmouth Park, but it was the way in which the $550,000 yearling purchase did it that left me impressed. By young sire Bolt d’Oro, the juvenile colt broke a bit slowly in his first offering but waited patiently before splitting horses in the lane and drawing off to a convincing tally.

The Kentucky-bred showed professionalism in that tilt, and he was no mystery at the windows when going off at 3-5 odds. He has posted a pair of useful half-mile drills in the interim, and I love that John Velazquez will retain the mount atop the Spendthrift color bearer.

#4 Forte (5-2), also from the Pletcher shedrow, couldn’t have made it look much easier in his 7 3/4-length waltz at first go at Belmont Park on May 27. The Violence colt, who was hammered to 1-5 odds at post time, is bred to get more distance and could be a really good one going forward if his debut was any indication.

The dark bay colt has worked in good fashion following that impressive debut and might be the one to beat on Saturday. Irad Ortiz will be in the stirrups once again.

#9 Andiamo a Firenze (7-2) lived up to his 4-5 odds with a facile score at first showing over a sloppy, sealed surface at Belmont Park for Kelly Breen. The Speightstown homebred earned a field-best 93 Brisnet Speed number for that win and I don’t think that it was a fluke. He will be formidable with a repeat of that effort with Jose Ortiz taking the reins.

Sanford Wagers

  • $5 exacta: 2, 4 with 2, 4, 9 ($20)
  • 50-cent trifecta: 2, 4 with 2, 4, 9 with all ($20)
  • 50-cent superfecta: 2, 4 with 2, 4, 9 with 2, 4, 9 with all ($18)