French import gets the nod in Saranac Stakes
A field of 11 sophomores is entered to contest the $100,000 Saranac (G3) at Saratoga on Saturday.
The race lacks a confirmed front runner and the pace will be moderate. #1 Vanzzy, #2 Bye Bye Melvin, #5 Don Juan Kitten, and #9 Embolden will be in the first group early on.
#1 VANZZY -- Pino pupil enters off a decisive score in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth last time out. Verrazano colt is a three-time stakes victor with a versatile running style, and he makes a lot of sense with any kind of forward move on Saturday. Joel Rosario will guide the talented win contender.
#2 BYE BYE MELVIN -- Son of Uncle Mo was runner-up in the Jersey Derby and will put blinkers on for this assignment. Dark bay colt has early foot, but he will need better than he has shown this campaign to challenge for the win late beneath John Velazquez.
#3 THREE TECHNIQUE -- Stakes-placed son of Mr Speaker makes his turf debut for Englehart. Colt has two turf-winning siblings, and it’s a positive that he shows a pair of local turf drills, as well. Kentucky-bred could be interesting in his first run on the lawn under Alvarado.
#4 L’IMPERATOR -- Top pick makes his debut on U.S. soil riding in on a three-race win streak. Holy Roman Emperor colt lands in a very winnable spot for a conditioner who excels with horses coming over to the states. Chad Brown trainee shows six drills on the turf at Saratoga, and he should be ready to roll with Castellanno in the silks.
#5 DON JUAN KITTEN -- Gargan trainee has shown improvement with each start in 2020, which includes a sharp allowance victory on the course last time out. Gray son of Kitten’s Joy has run very well in four of his five lifetime assignments, and his best effort will give him a big chance inside the final furlong on Saturday. Kendrick Carmouche retains the mount.
#6 BIG DREAMING -- Declaration of War 3-year-old is 2-for-2 since joining Catalano in advance of his stakes bow. Recent Arlington allowance winner faces a class hike in his first run at The Spa, but his form is good and he wouldn’t be a total surprise. Well-bred colt will have Lezcano in the controls.
#7 IRISH MIAS -- Second from the Motion barn is a stakes winner and appears to be sitting on a big effort. Sky Mesa gelding was stuck behind a dawdling pace when third in the Jersey Derby, and he rates a chance if the tempo is more realistic on Saturday. I will use the chestnut in my exotics plays with Franco riding.
#8 IMA PHAROAH -- Main-track only entrant gets the nod if the race comes off the green. Homebred responded to the addition of blinkers with a strong maiden win on the dirt most recently, and the son of American Pharoah will appreciate the extra ground to work with, as well.
#9 EMBOLDEN -- Stakes hero has won or placed in each of his lifetime performances leading up to the Saranac. Stidham charge has moved forward since adding blinkers three back, and the ultra-consistent son of The Factor could surely hit the board at a decent number. Jose Ortiz riding adds to the appeal.
#10 BODECREAM -- First or two from the Maker shedrow, he endured a tough trip in the recent War Chant S. at Churchill, but has run some races that will make him very competitive in the Saranac. Gelded dark bay comes in fresh with a solid string of morning moves at the locale in preparation of his first start for new connections. Irad will be up.
#11 TURN OF EVENTS -- Hard Spun colt graduated against maiden claiming foes here last time out, but the class rise combined with drawing widest in the field makes him a tough one to back on Saturday.
- $1 Superfecta Key: 4 with 1,5,7,9,10 ($60)