Tag Archives: Saratoga



LONG ON VALUE (HoofprintsInc.com/Hallmarc Stallions Photo)

Virginia-bred stakes winning two-year-old Long On Value will look to join the ranks of Saratoga graded stakes winners in today’s $300,000 Hopeful Stakes Gr. 1.  By Value Plus, out of Long Message by Orientate, Long On Value will take on ten others including morning ling favorite Saratoga Special Gr.2 winner Wired Bryan.

A winner of $81,600 for owner Frances Hessee and trainer Randy Allen, Long On Value broke his maiden at first asking at Delaware Park on June 10 before traveling to New Kent to win the $60,000 Jamestown Stakes in early July.  IN that one, Russell Sheldon guided the colt bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds from just off the pace to draw off by 2 1/2 lengths.

Back at Delaware Park, Long On Value wired the field in the $50,000 Strike Your Colors Stakes winning by six lengths for Daniels Centeno. Not bad for a bargain $3,000 October yearling.

Today he will be ridden by Edgar Prado.  Post time is 4:50 pm.

To see the Equibase Entries, click here.

Visits: 295




(UPDATE: Lion Down By Me finished third in yesterday’s $100,000 Smart and Fancy Stakes at Saratoga.)

Sam E. English II’s Virginia-bred stakes winner Lion Down By Me joins a field of seven other well qualified fillies and mares in today’s $100,000 Smart and Fancy Stakes going 5.5 furlongs on the turf at Saratoga.

Fourth in her last start , the $100,000 Sportech Caress Stakes also at Saratoga at the same distance and surface, Lion Down By Me won the $60,000 restricted Oakley Stakes and an allowance race at Colonial Downs prior to heading north.

By Lion Heart, out of Eugapae by El Prado (IRE), English’s homebred five-year-old has earend $64,310 from five starts this season and brings career earnings of $141,585 into the race today.

Training at Laurel for Rob Bailes, Lion Down By Me worked four furlongs in 48.20 on August 20th.

Mike Luzzi is named to ride.

Post time is 2:36 PM. To see the entries, click here.

Visits: 203


war dancer outside august 11

WAR DANCER (Outside) (NYRA Photo)

(Editor’s Note: VA-Derby winner War Dancer was sixth in the Travers Aug 24 at Saratoga.) To see the Equibase Chart, click here

Virginia Derby winner War Dancer’s assault on the Midsummer Derby isn’t exactly like riding a bicycle up Mount Everest, but it surely is a very steep climb when the son of super hot sire War Front tackles today’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.  Never mind the switch to dirt and skipping the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes Gr.1 run last weekend over the same distance and surface as the Virginia Derby, the real challenge looks to be a very competitive and deep field that includes two-thirds of the Triple Crown and an impressive Haskell winner.

War Dancer is owned by Magdalena Racing (Susan McPeek) so his connections are playing with house money. If the three-year-old colt, out of Deed I Do by Alydeed, is holding his Virginia Derby form in the mornings, why not take a swing at the big time?

The Travers offers an extra $500,000 in purse and a huge uptick in value in the breeding shed.  As successful as War Dancer’s sire (War Front) has been so far, his sons are sure to be well received especially if he has won important races at both dirt and turf at the classic distance of 10 furlongs.  A win in the Grade 1 Travers would put War Dancer’s stud value through the roof in a way the Grade 1 Secretariat could not.

The big obstacle facing trainer McPeek, who conquered this race last year when longshot Golden Ticket finished first in a dead heat with Alpha, is the competition.  It’s best to describe the competition as stiff at best.

Nobody ever said winning a million dollar grade one would be easy, but this Travers seems full of speed and talent.

It’s not unusual for a Kentucky Derby, Belmont or Haskell winner to turn up in the gate at the end of August in upstate New York.  But rare is an addition that includes all three.

Orb is the reigning Derby champion and that is cause for plenty of respect. He thrived at Fair Hill and his Hall of Fame trainer seems quite content with this training of late.  In addition, few have entered this race recently with the resume and current form of Palace Malice and Verrazano.

The Belmont winner impressively won the major Travers’ prep, the Jim Dandy, and Verrazano has but one clunker on his resume that includes six wins from seven starts at $1,551,300 in earnings.  He’s impressively won the Pegasus Gr. 3 and the Haskel Gr. 1 since his one flop in the Kentucky Derby.

The field also runs long on talented potential with Moreno (third in the Jim Dandy and winner of the Dwyer Stakes Gr. 2 at Belmont), Will Take Charge ($665,371 who looks to be recapturing his Arkansas form finishing second in the Jim Dandy) and Golden Soul ($527,400, second in the Kentucky Derby).

Then there is the matter of the Virginia Derby moving up from its current Grade 2 status.  Some would say the race should already be a Grade 1 off the impressive careers of Kitten’s Joy, English Channel and Gio Ponti, so surely War Dancer winning the Travers would tip the scale once and for all.

With all of that said, Saratoga is keen on a good upset, so maybe the McPeek’s gamble will pay off in more ways than one…?

Visits: 221


EMBARR (Coady Photography)

EMBARR (Coady Photography)

Susan Cooney’s 2012 Virginia-bred Co-Champion Older Mare Embarr will give Saratoga another shot today in the $250,000 Ketel One Balston Spa Stakes Gr. 2.

The Royal Academy five-year-old was a closing fourth in the $100,000 Del La Rose Stake back on August 3 going one mile on Saratoga’s inner turf.  Embarr broke leisurely and disappeared out of the television shot until the head of the stretch where she still trailed the field.  Once she found a running lane, she closed down the stretch to within 4 3/4 lengths of the winner Assateague.

Bringing a bankroll of $242,684 into today’s race, Susan Cooney’s homebred, out of Inn Too Deep (IRE) by The Deep (IRE), will take on a field of seven others while stretching out to one and 1/16 miles on the main turf course.  While two of her stakes wins have come at a mile, Embarr’s late running style and most recent performance sets her up well for the De La Rose.

Pablo Morales will ride from the outside post.

Equibase entries for the Travers card is here and post time for the De La Rose is 4:38 pm.  The Travers runs at 5:46 PM.

Visits: 168


italian wedding

Italian Wedding and Bernard Dalton winning the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Steepechase Handicap Gr. 1 on August 22, 2013 at Saratoga. (NYRA Photo)


William Buick riding The Fugue win the $507,000 Darley Yorkshire Oaks G1at York racecourse on August 22, 2013 in York, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

vitoria olimpica2

Vitoria Olimpica (BRZ) and John Velazquez winning the $100,000 Alydar Stakes on August 22, 2013 at Saratoga. (NYRA Photo)


Tom Queally riding Lucky Kristale win the $243,000 Connolly’s RED MILLS Lowther Stakes G2 at York racecourse on August 22, 2013 in York, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)


Runners parade at York racecourse on August 22, 2013 in York, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Italian Wedding and Bernard Dalton winning the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Steepechase Handicap Gr. 1 on August 22, 2013 at Saratoga. (NYRA Photo)



Visits: 285




Virginia Derby winner War Dancer will switch back to the main track and try to defeat a deep field in the 10 furlong $1 million Travers Stakes Gr. 1 at Saratoga on Saturday. It will be the son of War Front’s second start on the dirt this year where he will join morning line favorite and Haskell winner Verazano, Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy Stakes winner Palace Malice.

Last year, War Dancer’s trainer Ken McPeek sent long shot Golden Ticket out to hit the wire simultaneously with the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Alpha for the first dead-heat in modern Travers history.

Leading Saratoga trainer Todd Pletcher looks to capture the 144th edition of the Midsummer Derby entering Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice (#8) coming off a solid win in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Gr.2 score and Verrazano (#3) who won the $1 million Haskell Gr. 1 impressively a day later.

Verrazano, under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, was installed by oddsmaker Eric Donovan as the 2-1 favorite on the morning line, while Palace Malice is the 5-2 second choice with another Hall of Famer Mike Smith up.

Orb, who races for Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney III under the capable supervision of Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, has not raced since that June 8 test at Belmont Park. Instead, the 4-1 third choice on the Travers morning line enjoyed his stay at the Fair Hill Training Center near Elkton, MD prepping for Saturday’s summer classic.

According to trainer Shug McGuaghey, the Malibu Moon colt has gained some weight and is likely mentally sharper than the tired horse post Triple Crown.

Willis D. Horton’s Will Take Charge and Southern Equine Stable’s Moreno return from respective second- and third-place finishes in the Jim Dandy to tackle the division leaders once again.

Completing the field are Golden Soul, runner up to Orb in the Kentucky Derby but a dull ninth in the Belmont and seventh n the Haskell, Romansh, a lightly raced son of 2006 Travers winner Bernardini who is trained by Tom Albertrani for Darley Stable, and Transparent, also by Bernardini, who races for Darley and McLaughlin.

Visits: 156



CAROLINE THOMAS (outside) (NYRA Photo)

Like many Virginians, Bonner Young breeds her horses in Kentucky and like most breeders and owners, Saratoga has long been an important place for her horses to win.

Yesterday Caroline Thomas picked up the first stakes win of her career when moved up in the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes Gr. 2 due to the disqualification of original winner Nellie Cashman on Saratoga’s inner turf.

Virginia Oaks Gr. 3 winner (19-1), ridden by Forest Boyce at odds of 20-1, was disqualified for drifting into the path of the rallying Watsdachances  in deep stretch. First under the line by a nose over Caroline Thomas, she was demoted to third, with Watsdachances placed second.

Javier Castellano, the rider of Watsdachances, lodged the objection against Nellie Cashman after his mount finished a neck behind the first two.

Caroline Thomas, is the first foal out of grade I winner Bit of Whimsy, who captured the the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT), the Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IITT), and Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) in 2007. Bred in Kentucky by Young and raced by Joyce B. Young, Caroline Thomas posted her first win from six starts this year at odds of 11-1. Rosie Napravnik was the winning rider for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Caroline Thomas and Watsdachances were coming with a rush approaching the wire as Nellie Cashman drifted out despite right-handed urging from Boyce.

“Sure, it’s disappointing,” Franny Abbott, the trainer of Nellie Cashman, said. “I try not to come up to New York very often unless I think I’m pretty live. It’s nice to know the Virginia Oaks wasn’t a fluke. She’s got a lot of ability. Hopefully, she’ll come back.”

“Even though we were lucky to be put up for the win, I thought my filly really ran a winning race, anyway. She worked so excellent over the grass the other day,” Napravnik said in reference to a :46 4/5 move Aug. 15. “I had a lot of confidence in her and she ran excellent.”

The winner was coming off a seventh-place finish in the restricted My Princess Jess Stakes over the Saratoga inner lawn July 20, a race in which she was bumped while rallying at the eighth pole. Prior to that she was third, beaten a head, in a stakes named for her dam at Belmont June 16. Her last victory came in an allowance/optional claiming race on the Gulfstream Park turf Dec. 16.

Bit of Whimsy has produced a yearling Bernardini filly and was bred to Giant’s Causeway again for 2014.

Caroline Thomas improved her career mark to 3-1-2 in nine starts with earnings of $230,734.

Bonner Young has also owned and bred several graded stakes winners in partnership with her brother fellow Virginian George Rowand (Diary of a Dream: My Journey in Thoroughbred Racing).  Among them were Miss Josh (Gr.1), Highland Springs (Gr.2) and Royal Mountain Inn (Gr.1), all trained by Tagg.  Young also campaigned the filly’s Grade 1 winning dam, Bit of Whimsy.

Visits: 144


THANK YOU MARYLOU (far left) (NYRA Photo)

THANK YOU MARYLOU (far left) (NYRA Photo)

Valene Farm’s Designer Legs was awarded the victory via disqualification following a roughly-run edition of the Grade 2, $196,000 Adirondack at Saratoga on Sunday. The front-running Who’s in Town repeatedly hampered prohibitive 1-5 favorite Fiftyshadesofgold down the stretch before just holding on from Designer Legs. The inquiry sign went up promptly, and the stewards demoted Who’s in Town from an otherwise admirable effort.

Virginia-bred Thank You Marylou rallied from off the pace to finish third and was awarded second when Who’s In Town’s number was taken down.

Designer Legs brought a perfect two-for-two mark into her debut for Dallas Stewart. The filly may now be the first ever to win a graded stakes at Saratoga following a maiden win in Minnesota and a stakes win in Iowa.

Who’s in Town went off as the 4-1 second choice off her smart first-out score at Delaware Park. The Michael Matz filly showed plenty of speed to grab the lead from Hop the Six through a frenetic opening quarter in :21 ⅗. Unbeaten Fiftyshadesofgold, all the rage after her eight-length tour de force in the June 22 Debutante at Churchill Downs, chased along the rail.

Who’s in Town was pressured relentlessly by Hop the Six as they blazed a half in :44 ⅖. While Designer Legs kept to the outside path as she commenced her move. In the stretch, Who’s in Town came over on Fiftyshadesofgold, who had to steady more than once.

As a result of the steward’s action, Thank You Marylou was elevated to second, and Fiftyshadesofgold was promoted to third.

The Adirondack was marred by a fatal injury to Charmed Hour, who broke down on the backstretch and was sadly euthanized on the track.

“The fracture was an open fracture of the [right front] cannon bone,” said Dr. Scott Palmer, the on-call veterinarian for the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

“That type of fracture is contaminated at the time of the injury and surgical repair is not an option. Sadly, [NYRA Chief Examining Veterinarian] Dr. [Anthony] Verderosa was required to euthanize her on the racetrack.”

To see the Equibase Chart, click here.

Visits: 165


SARATOGA’S READING ROOM (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

SARATOGA’S READING ROOM (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

The article is titled “The Hamptons on the Hoof,” and it helps answer how non-horse people view all that is going on (and has been going on for what seems like forever) at Saratoga.

To read the article, click here.

Visits: 204



THANK YOU MARYLOU (Coady Photography)

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Thank You Marylou, who handily won the $75,000 Tippet Stakes at Colonial Downs while making her first career start, takes on an impressive group of two-year-olds today in the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes Gr.2 at Saratoga.

The field includes undefeated Texas-bred Fiftyshadesofgold and Maryland-bed Who’s in Town along with four others.

Thank You Marylou, by Birdstone, out of Menifeeque by Menifee, is named after Marylou Whitney who reached out to the Ramsey’s when Sarah Ramsey was ill.  She came into the Colonial Down stakes off of impressive workouts at Turfway Park.  On August 3rd, Thank You Marylou worked five furlongs on the dirt in 1:02.87.

Bred by Mr. & Mrs. C.W. McNeely III, Thank You Marylou covered the 5.5 furlongs in the 1:06.04 while winning the Tippet.  The Adirondack is run over 6.5 furlongs on the dirt course.

To see the entries, click here.  Post time of the Adirondrack is 5:12 pm.

Visits: 160
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