Saratoga main track playing fairly to all run types

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 26th, 2015


A grade 1 tilt for sophomore fillies headlined the racing at Saratoga Race Course.

Alabama S. (G1): Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s EMBELLISH THE LACE (Super Saver) sped to the front soon after the break and never gave way en route to a 1 ¼-length tally for trainer Tony Dutrow. The three-year-old lass registered her first stakes triumph and completed 1 ¼ miles in a sharp 2:01 4/5 with Javier Castellano in the silks.

Track Stats

A total of 61 races were held at the Saratoga Springs, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 25 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 54 percent of the wins during the week. From 34 races on the main oval, seven animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (20 percent), while four of the 27 races on the lawn were taken all the way on the front (15 percent).

We liked the way the main strip played this past week, with all kinds coming home winners. Six of the seven wire jobs on dirt came in sprint races, so no bias at all in our view.

On the lawn, two winners led at every call in sprints on the outer, while the other pair occurred in inner turf route events.

Meet Totals












86 (30 percent)



71 (25 percent)



24 (17 percent)



35 (25 percent)



Wednesday (8/19)

2ND – GOVERNOR MALIBU (Malibu Moon) could not run down the short-priced winner, but the Christophe Clement pupil performed well to be eight lengths clear of third in a fine debut showing. Tab this juvenile colt as one who should be graduating very soon with any type of improvement.

5TH – GAMETOWN (Street Sense) was another sharp first timer who had to settle for second behind a nice winner. The Mark Casse trainee seemed at home on the lawn and will be tough with any progression going forward.

7TH – GET JETS (Scat Daddy) was a third juvenile colt that impressed to kick start the week, as this debuter overcame the rail and a poor break to runaway from this field in the lane with a big late kick. The Empire State-bred was full of run under the wire hinting that he could run a lot farther if asked.  

Thursday (8/20)

6TH – ROYAL POSSE (Posse) ran yet another big one on this course and looks like a fine claim for Rudy Rodriguez after this easy tally. The peaking gelding will be super tough right back if properly placed.

9TH – TRICKY ZIPPY (City Zip) was always in the right place and took command with relative ease, posting a fine stakes tally in this dash with John Velazquez. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee is in fine form.

Friday (8/21)

6TH – REGIA MARINA (Medaglia d’Oro) has now been second in four straight and while we’re not usually of a fan of the trend, the dark bay filly was more than seven lengths clear of third and looms large next time with something like this one for trainer Tom Albertrani.

10TH – BOKEELIA ISLAND (Medaglia d’Oro) closed from last to earn second on the wire in a nice debut showing for Shug McGaughey, who doesn’t have his first-time starters cranked up often. The sophomore colt could improve with a bit of seasoning and longer distances, and we expect him to be in the winner’s circle before long.

Saturday (8/22)

5TH – NOTORIOUS (McCann’s Mojave) showed no rust off the long layoff, rallying from well of the pace to be a sharp winner over a solid field in his debut for Wesley Ward. The three-year-old gelding was last turning for home but finished full of run, and he could move forward having one under his belt in 2015.

10TH – I’M A CHATTERBOX (Munnings) has run two extremely worthy races at the Grade 1 level on this oval and we think the consistently good filly gets one in the very near future. The Larry Jones trainee was well clear of third and seemingly always fires.

Sunday (8/23)

8TH – WIDTH (Blame) gave the look of a filly to watch following what we thought was a very good debut tally for Clement. The juvenile miss was really moving well in the lane and with a pedigree that suggests that she might want to run long, she could be just scratching the surface.

10TH – STALLWALKIN’ DUDE (City Place) fought off one, and then another foe in the lane to earn a well deserved stakes win for David Jacobson. The five-year-old gelding continues to thrive on activity and picked up his sixth win from 13 tries in 2015 already. The bay beat a few nice ones here.

Monday (8/24)

6TH – JESS’S DREAM (Curlin) will likely be the rage for some time after the three-year-old colt made a huge move in the lane to graduate at first asking for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The sophomore colt won at a nine-furlong trip not many do first-time out, and if he runs to his pedigree, he will be a superstar, obviously.

A Look Ahead

A huge weekend of racing will take place on Saturday, with the $1.6 million Travers S. (G1) topping the biggest day of the meet. Also on tap is the $1 million Sword Dancer Invitational S. (G1); $750,000 Personal Ensign Invitational (G1); $700,000 Forego S. (G1); $500,000 Ballerina S. (G1); $500,000 King’s Bishop S. (G1); and the $400,000 Ballston Spa S. (G2).