Deep Field Assembles for Forego Stakes
If you’re looking for a future winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Breeders’ Cup Sprint, you are strongly advised to check out the field for Saturday’s $600,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.The prestigious seven-furlong event offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but since the distance of the Forego falls directly in between the distances of the Dirt Mile and the Sprint, it could serve as a viable prep for either race.
In any case, the distance of the Forego should suit #1 Limousine Liberal just fine. The gelded son of Successful Appeal boasts a 5-for-10 record going seven furlongs, including a hard-fought victory in the Belmont Sprint Championship (gr. II) last month, in which he overcame some trouble to narrowly prevail. Actually, he’s just a neck away from being unbeaten in his last six starts over seven furlongs.
But the lightly-raced #8 City of Light has also been a force to reckon with over this distance, as he demonstrated with powerful wins in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) and Triple Bend Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Based in California with trainer Michael McCarthy, City of Light is cutting back off a third-place finish in the 10-furlong Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I) and could be tough to beat while returning to his preferred distance, especially with Saratoga’s leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle.
#7 Warrior’s Club, who defeated Limousine Liberal in the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) earlier this spring, showed his affinity for Saratoga by finishing a good second in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) last month. Another runner with local experience is #5 No Dozing, who caught eyes while winning an allowance race over this track and distance with a 104 BRIS speed figure. The son of Union Rags has placed in multiple graded stakes races and could be a major contender in his second start of the season.
#3 Whitmore has been a high-level graded stakes competitor for several years and missed by just a neck against Limousine Liberal in the Belmont Sprint Championship, though you can argue that Whitmore received a better trip than the winner that day. #2 Awesome Slew has enjoyed more success going a mile than seven furlongs, but he’s pushed Limousine Liberal to the limit in the last two renewals of the Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) over this distance and wasn’t badly beaten when third behind No Dozing at Saratoga last time out.
Rounding out the field are #6 C Z Rocket, impressive winner of the Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs, and #4 Heartwood, winner of the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes at Mountaineer.
The Forego is the ninth race of the day, with a post time of 4:12 p.m. Eastern.