Speed pick in Wednesday's Saratoga finale

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 9th, 2017

Wednesday’s feature at Saratoga honors Quick Call, a nine-time winner at Saratoga who recorded a hat trick in 1988 and 1989. Six 3-year-olds will contest the 5 ½-furlong turf sprint. The 2nd race, one of the two allowances on the program, is appealing due to the presence of Sunset Ridge, an exciting New York-bred sophomore filly for Chad Brown who is unbeaten from two starts, registering a 104 BRIS Speed Rating for an 8 ¼-length allowance romp at Belmont on June 2.

Likely to be forgotten is the last race on the card, the 10th, an unremarkable $20,000 maiden claimer at 6 ½ furlongs. But it’s the race I’m looking forward to most as a horseplayer.

A lack of pace was the first thing that caught my eye when perusing the Ultimate Past Performances. Miss Pearl is the lone confirmed front-runner among 11 entrants and if she breaks running with Angel Arroyo, the filly has an excellent chance to lead wire to wire.

Listed at 8-1 on the morning line, Miss Pearl is dropping in class for Gary Contessa after running into the buzzsaw Tarquinia at the $40,000 level earlier in the meet. That rival, a Speightstown filly, was making only her second lifetime start and it was no surprise to see her claimed from the 14-length decision.

Miss Pearl, who registered 96 E1 and 95 E2 BRIS Early Pace Ratings while chasing the pace last time, held well to be a clear second and figures to relish the class relief today.

I like her chances on the front end.