Juveniles to Watch from Saratoga Saturday

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 21st, 2018

It was a big day of racing with some powerful showings at Saratoga last Saturday, led by a romp in the featured Alabama (G1) by Eskimo Kisses. In the race prior, once-beaten Rushing Fall put in a sublime performance to dominate a fine field in the grassy Lake Placid (G2).

But also on Saturday, a trio of special weight races for two-year-olds were held. And I think we saw a few fine prospects getting their respective careers started:

Race 2

Off-the-turf event saw just six go postward with the lion’s share of the win money on STANDARD DEVIATION. Chad Brown pupil didn’t disappoint, rolling home late to a 2 ¾-length win at seven panels.

Curlin colt looked good from a visual standpoint in the stretch when he found his best stride. Juvenile earned an 85 BRIS Speed number for his work and the $450,000 yearling is bred to run longer and possibly on the green.

Race 4

A strong trio emerged from this loaded race and each could easily evolve into a stakes horse. Kiaran McLaughlin’s ENDORSED got up in the final strides to win at first asking under Joe Bravo. The colt is another bred to run longer and could be any kind with expected progression going forward.

Son of Medaglia d’Oro registered a 95 BRIS Speed figure for his quarter-length win. Endorsed is out of the excellent Dance Card, an easy winner of the 2012 Gazelle (G1). Tapit filly concluded her career with a close third in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).

AHEAD OF PLAN went off at 7-5 for Brown and looked like a winner virtually every step of the way until the final yards. Big Drama youngster finished 4 ¾-lengths clear of third and looks to have a bright future. Colt has a very modest pedigree but still fetched a bid of $475,000 at OBS March. Florida-bred has to be among the most talented maidens on the grounds. 

PRINCIPLED was no match for the top pair but was clear of the rest by more than four lengths. Son of Medaglia d’Oro was always prominent and should improve having one under his belt. Todd Pletcher charge is out of Grade 2 queen Teen Pauline, who set a five-furlong track record at Saratoga in her debut in 2012. Principled will move forward.

And worth noting Endorsed and Principled are bred on a very similar cross.

Race 6

Shug McGaughey’s first timer CODE OF HONOR led from the break and fended off a pair of stern tests to graduate under John Velazquez. Noble Mission colt was 1 1/2–lengths in front under the wire and posted a 93 BRIS Speed figure, beating the well-meant WILD MEDAGLIAD’ORO in the process.

Code of Honor is most intriguing being a grandson of Galileo and thriving at six furlongs on the dirt in his debut. Keep a close eye on his progression.

Wild Medagliad’Oro was more than five lengths clear of third in a good effort. Mark Casse pupil has run a pair of solid ones at this meeting. I expect him to excel on the lawn, as his dam was a Grade 3 heroine on the green.

The field was not as deep as Race 4, though the top two here could be very good in time.