Flintshire towers over Bowling Green foes; Vanderbilt, Amsterdam showcase sprinters

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 27th, 2016

Turf superstar Flintshire is the marquee attraction on Saturday's Jim Dandy Day undercard at Saratoga, but on paper the $250,000 Bowling Green (G2), a 1 3/8-mile prep for next month's Sword Dancer Invitational (G1), doesn't appear a formidable test for the Juddmonte homebred.

A Group/Grade 1 winner on three continents and twice runner-up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1), Flintshire has been in complete command in his last two U.S. appearances. Hero of last year's Sword Dancer, the six-year-old looked similarly impressive taking the Manhattan (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day, which served as his season debut and his first start for trainer Chad Brown.

The long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita, where Flintshire claimed the place honors behind Main Sequence two years ago.

Of more betting interest Saturday are the two sprint stakes with potential Breeders' Cup implications: the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) and the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) for three-year-olds.

The six-furlong Vanderbilt has attracted a field of eight, three of which are trained by Jorge Navarro. Catalina Red scored a notable upset for the conditioner on Kentucky Derby Day, capturing the Churchill Downs (G2) at 14-1, but retreated to fourth last out in the True North (G2).

Delta Bluesman has crossed the wire first in his last four, including a 3 3/4-length romp in the Smile Sprint (G2). Chublicious is two-for-two since joining the Navarro barn, but takes a big jump up in class following the $95,000 Mr. Prospector at Monmouth.

Anchor Down figures to be one of the favorites despite possessing a stronger resume going farther. The Todd Pletcher charge romped in the Westchester (G3) over a mile early in the Belmont meet, and was second best to Frosted in that rival's other-worldly exhibition in the Metropolitan H. (G1).

Holy Boss and Requite, one-two in last year's Amsterdam, both enter in solid form. Though winless since that event, Holy Boss was a close third in the True North and adds blinkers for the Vanderbilt. Requite, meanwhile, has made just one interim start, taking the $75,000 Parrot Key at Gulfstream by 3 1/2 lengths in early June.

A. P. Indian is riding a three-race win streak into the Vanderbilt, highlighted by a head victory in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G3).

The 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam, the traditional prep for the seven-furlong King's Bishop, appears wide open. Stakes winner Counterforce looks to rebound from a modest showing in the Woody Stephens (G2) on Belmont Day, while stakes veterans King Kranz and Quijote look capable with their best.

The Todd Pletcher-trained allowance scorer Ready Dancer has a win over the track, 2015 Sanford (G3) winner Uncle Vinny shortens up, and stakes newbie Maniacal goes for his third straight victory.

(Uli Seit/