Saratoga: Best exotics plays for the Sword Dancer S. on Aug. 28

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 27th, 2021

Seven excellent turf stayers will travel 1 1/2 miles on the Saratoga inner lawn in Saturday’s $750,000 Sword Dancer S. (G1).

Sword Dancer Contenders

#1 TRIBHUVAN (2-1) -- United Nations S. (G1) winner brings top speed from the rail to the event for Chad Brown. Peaking French import makes his first local run while in great form, and the son of Toronado looms large if he dictates through moderate early splits on Saturday.

#2 GUFO (3-1) -- Grade 1 victor got back to his winning ways with a measured stakes tally on the Belmont green in his most recent endeavor. The talented Christophe Clement trainee missed by a head in the 2020 Saratoga Derby in his prior experience at The Spa, and he will be closing as well as any contender late with Joel Rosario riding.

#3 ROCKEMPEROR (6-1) -- The second of two runners for Chad Brown, Rockemperor has put together a pair of strong races, led by a second-place result in the Bowling Green S. (G2) here most recently. The five-year-old is far from a win machine, but the Irish-bred has responded to the addition of blinkers and could surprise with another move forward. Irad Ortiz riding is a positive.

#4 CHANNEL MAKER (8-1) -- Multiple Grade 1 star romped in this race over soft turf last campaign and will be very dangerous in his second start since returning from Dubai. The $3 million earner will have to win from off the pace, however, with Manny Franco in the silks.

#5 MORETTI (15-1) -- Todd Pletcher's pupil will have no trouble handling the distance, but he must prove to be capable on the turf in his first grassy appearance on Saturday. The five-year-old would be a surprise in such a deep field beneath Jose Ortiz.

#6 JAPAN (9-2) -- European invader may have lost a step compared to his peak performances, but the Aidan O’Brien trainee still merits a lot of respect after facing the best overseas for a few seasons. The Galileo five-year-old was victorious in his latest outing, and he must be taken seriously in his U. S. debut with Ryan Moore coming in to ride.

#7 CROSS BORDER (4-1) -- The top pick is a Saratoga specialist from the Michael Maker barn. The son of English Channel finished second in the race in 2020, sports a superb 7-6-1-0 mark at Saratoga, and was a smart Bowling Green winner most recently, as well. The Empire State-bred will track the pace from midpack under Luis Saez.

Sword Dancer Exotics

  • $10 exacta key box 7 with 2,6 ($40)
  • $2 trifecta box 2,6,7 ($12)
  • 50-cent superfecta 2,6,7 with 2,6,7, with 2,6,7 with all ($12)