Four Grade 1 winners highlight outstanding Travers field
Favored at 2-1 on the morning line, the son of Offlee Wild drew well on the inside for his front-running style (post No. 2) and Martin Garcia retains the mount.
"The Haskell was pretty impressive," Baffert said of Bayern, who made his career debut on January 4 and has earned more than $1 million while winning four of seven starts. "Will he take a step backward? I don't' know, but he looks good.
"He's not a really big horse, but he's fast. He's a handy horse, and he's got a lot of speed. I'm not totally convinced he can go a mile and a quarter, but he's pretty fast. You just have to let him go and what happens, happens. You can't worry about it. When you have a horse with that kind of brilliant speed, you have to use it."
"(Bayern) probably will go for it. We've got Wicked Strong outside of us (in post 7), and he might go a little bit, too. It could be a good set-up. We don't want to be as wide as we were in the Jim Dandy, so (Rosario) will have to tuck him in a bit more. It's an extra furlong (compared to the Jim Dandy), but I think the horse needed the race last time. He's had two good works since then."
Wicked Strong added blinkers for the Jim Dandy and raced more forwardly than his previous starts. A close third when concluding his juvenile campaign in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct, the Hard Spun colt returned this year with a pair of disappointing efforts at Gulfstream Park. He rebounded back in New York, taking the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial by 3 1/2 lengths, but experienced a troubled trip finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby.
Maragh was pleased post 7.
"I think it's a great post. It gives us some options," the jockey said. "We're posted outside most of the speed horses, and it seems like a very ideal situation. I would think that Tonalist might show a little more speed; he was pretty close to the lead in the Belmont. The No. 7 post gives me a lot of options to see how the race unfolds and pick a good spot. We'll play it by ear and see how the race is going.
"The great thing with Wicked Strong is you can adjust with him; he doesn't have one specific running style. He's won close to the lead like last time and also has won from pretty much off the pace. Our hands aren't tied to doing anything specific."
Mr Speaker shows a couple of fast works on the Saratoga main track this month and will break from the far outside post Saturday with Jose Lezcano.
Jerkens, who won with his only other Travers starter, Afleet Express, in 2010, will also send out V. E. Day in the Travers. The chestnut son of grass champion English Channel has won three straight starts, including the 1 1/8-mile Curlin Stakes at Saratoga on the eve of the Jim Dandy.
Four-time stakes hero Kid Cruz will look to improve upon his third-place effort in the Jim Dandy. A sharp winner of the Grade 3 Dwyer and the Easy Goer in his two previous outings at Belmont Park, the late-running son of Lemon Drop Kid will keep Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle.
"He's coming in great," trainer Linda Rice said of Kid Cruz, who was claimed for $50,000 from his second career start in late November. "We struggled this spring with him with a shoulder and a pinched nerve at the base of his neck. We missed the Wood Memorial and went to the (April 19) Tesio (at Pimlico) instead.
"The Preakness went poorly but frankly he's coming into this race very well. Despite the fact that the Jim Dandy was kind of an ugly race for us, the goal was to get to the Travers. Hopefully, we'll be ready."
Kid Cruz, who can provide Rice with the first Travers victory by a female trainer, raced closer than normal during the early stages of the Jim Dandy, dropped back going down the backstretch, and came again late for third.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, fourth in the Jim Dandy, is also entered. The Dallas Stewart trainee breaks from the innermost post with Shaun Bridmohan.
Rounding out the Travers field are Charge Now and Viva Majorca, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the Curlin; and Jim Dandy fifth-placer and Grade 3 runner-up Ulanbator.
Wildcat Red reverts in distance for King's Bishop
The Tapit chestnut entered that contest off a neck score in the Oh Say at Delaware Park just 21 days earlier in what was his first start for Jones after being conditioned by Chad Brown in his first five lifetime races. During that period of time, Coup de Grace sandwiched a win in the seven-furlong Bay Shore at Aqueduct between unplaced efforts in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull and seven-furlong Woody Stephens. Rosie Napravnik was aboard for the Amsterdam and retains the mount in this spot.
C. Zee earned his shot at the King's Bishop after running second in the Amsterdam last out. Transferred from Stanley Gold to Nick Zito when shipped to Saratoga, the Florida-bred son of Elusive Bluff finished second in the Hutcheson and 10th in the Fountain of Youth behind Wildcat Red. He would go on to take the Sir Bear and Cherokee Run Stakes at Gulfstream while placing in a pair of listed events at Tampa Bay Downs and Calder.
Myositis Dan, Noble Cornerstone and Noble Moon complete the field for the King's Bishop. The former triumphed in a pair of seven-furlong all-weather allowances at Keeneland and Arlington, with a head third in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs tucked in between. New York-bred Noble Cornerstone is exiting a pair of victories against state-bred rivals, while Grade 2 hero Noble Moon will be going less than a mile for the first time since taking his maiden debut last September.
Australia comfortably handles elders in Juddmonte International
Australia, planted at the back of the field while his stable companion Kingfisher made the running, eased through to lead with over a furlong to run and stamped his authority on the Group 1, £800,000 Juddmonte International at York on Tuesday.
Jockey Joseph O'Brien had said before the race that he would come on for it and his trainer, Aidan O'Brien, said afterwards that what he really needed was a racecourse gallop after being let down following the Irish Derby.
The lure of York prevailed and the English and Irish Derby winner was always in control, winning by an easy two lengths from French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby. Telescope was over two lengths back in third with the disappointing Mukhadram in fourth after pulling too hard early in the race. Arod was fifth and Kingfisher last.
"He was a bit fresh, his first run back after a while, but it was never really in doubt," Joseph O'Brien said.
"We're delighted. I couldn't be happier," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. "He was ready for a racecourse gallop, that was where he was at.
"The lads will decide what's next, but we had in our head to come here and then Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes on September 13) if everything went well.
"My heart starts beating at 4 a.m. every morning because of this horse. Everyone at Ballydoyle and Coolmore make this happen and I'm privileged to be part of it."
Without Epsom Derby runner-up Kingston Hill, the Group 2 Great Voltigeur earlier in the card lost much luster, but was salvaged by a high-class performance from the up-and-comer Postponed. Last seen winning the 11-furlong Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton July 18, the bay proved this 12-furlong trip held no fears as he spread-eagled a seemingly competitive affair in the absence of the Derby runner-up.
Always traveling easily behind the leading trio, the 5-2 favorite moved through rivals without being extended to take over from the long-time leader Odeon with a quarter mile-remaining. Despite veering right in the closing stages, the colt who was also third in the Craven Stakes and Tercentenary Stakes and does not hold an entry in the St Leger, was always comfortably on top of Snow Sky and had 2 1/4 lengths to spare over that rival at the line, with Odeon eight lengths away in third in what amounted to a true test.
Progressing from an August 2 breakthrough score at Goodwood, 16-1 outsider Dutch Connection caused a stir when breaking the track record to claim the Group 3 Acomb Stakes for two-year-olds.
Settled fifth in the second rank through the early fractions, the chestnut came under pressure with three furlongs remaining and kept on resolutely under a late drive to nail Toocoolforschool by a head in the dying strides. Star Basateen attempted to make all and finished 1 1/4 lengths further adrift in third.
"It was a good race, they went quick and he has stepped up on what he's done in the past," jockey William Buick said. "He gave me a nice feel when he won at Goodwood last time and he tries very hard. He is uncomplicated, which is a great trait in a two-year-old, and nothing fazes him. He is going in the right direction and it's very nice to get a York winner."
Taghrooda heavily favored in Yorkshire Oaks
"She took the King George very well," Gosden confirmed. "The Yorkshire Oaks was always the plan for her. After her win in the Oaks it was a race we had in our mind. There was a slight change of plan in the middle when we changed from Ireland to Ascot but she has handled it all very well.
"In terms of herself I am very happy with her. It should be good racing ground and we are looking forward to it."
Taghrooda's imperious display at Ascot was the first time a filly had triumphed in the Ascot summer showpiece since 1976 and even her trainer was surprised by the style in which she landed the prize.
"I was surprised that she came to those good older horses under a hand ride," Gosden said. "To come to horses that had just won a Hardwicke and an Eclipse in the manner that she did was what surprised me. I knew she was a nice filly but that was impressive. And also the way she took the race in her stride. Many horses after running a race like that are quiet for a few days, but not her -- she ate up and was soon trying to get rid of her rider."
The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has long been voiced as Taghrooda's end of season target and she is unlikely to be seen on a racecourse in between York and Longchamp on October 5.
"If she runs a nice race at York we'll aim for the Arc and I think we would go straight there rather than taking in a race such as the (Prix) Vermeille, which would mean traveling to France twice in three weeks," Gosden said.
Aidan O'Brien plans to take on Taghrooda with both Venus de Milo and Tapestry. The pair have some fine form to their names and should help ensure the mile and a half race is a memorable one.
Venus de Milo is back for a second tilt at the Yorkshire Oaks, having finished runner-up to The Fugue twelve months ago. The four-year-old comes into her latest assignment off the back of a third place in the Nassau Stakes earlier this month at Glorious Goodwood.
Tapestry was last seen a month ago, running a fine race to be second to stable mate Bracelet in the Irish Oaks.
"Both of them seem to be in good form since their last run. Obviously, we are hoping that they run well," O'Brien said.
The supporting feature on the second day of the Ebor Festival is the Lowther Stakes, a Group 2 event for juvenile fillies at six furlongs.
Six new members elected to Jockey Club
The Jockey Club has announced the election of six new members: Ian G. Banwell, Everett R. Dobson, Helen Groves, Roy Jackson, William Shively, and Frank Stronach.
Banwell and his wife, Caroline, own St. George Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and race their horses as St. George Farm Racing. Banwell, the CEO and owner of Round Table Investment Management Company, became involved in Thoroughbred racing as a result of a boyhood friendship with veterinarian Bryan Boone. He is a member of the Keeneland Board of Directors and races many horses in partnership with G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
Dobson has owned and raced Thoroughbreds since 1996. He owns Cheyenne Stables and a commercial breeding operation, Candy Meadows, as well as a minority investment in Three Chimneys Stallions. In 1989, he founded Dobson Communications Corporation which became one of the largest wireless service providers in the U.S. before its sale to AT&T in November 2007.
Groves, a direct descendent of Richard King of the legendary King Ranch in Texas, breeds and raises Thoroughbreds and also owns several ranches and raises Quarter Horses. She is an accomplished equestrian and a former director of King Ranch Incorporated. Her father, Robert J. Kleberg Jr., was a member of The Jockey Club and a founding Director of The Keeneland Association. Her daughters, Helen Alexander, Emory Hamilton, Caroline Forgason, Henrietta Alexander and Dorothy Matz, have been actively involved in the Thoroughbred industry as well.
Jackson and his wife, Gretchen, began breeding racehorses in 1978 at Lael Farm, located in the midst of steeplechase and show horse country in West Grove, Pennsylvania. Roy Jackson, after his career in the management end of professional baseball ended in 2004, began devoting his full attention to breeding and racing in the United States and Europe. Lael Stable campaigned the popular 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
Shively and his wife, Donna, purchased Dixiana Farm in Lexington in 2004, Woodlynn Farm (later renamed to Woodland Farm) in 2006, and Domino Stud in 2009. He is a Keeneland director and a member of the Breeders’ Cup. He is Chairman and CEO of Tower Hill Insurance Group in Gainesville, Florida, a group of five property and casualty insurance companies. Tower Hill is a leading provider of homeowner’s insurance in Florida.
Stronach, who owns the commercial breeding operation Adena Springs, has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for more than 40 years. He has earned eight Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding breeder and four others as outstanding owner. The Stronach family and Adena Springs have bred and/or campaigned more than 200 stakes winners, including winners of two of the three U.S. classic races and all three classics in Canada. He is the Founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group, which operates Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, the Maryland Jockey Club, Golden Gate Fields, and Portland Meadows.
Close Hatches looking to stay on top in Personal Ensign
"She's always run pretty good off the bench," Mott said. "Her works have been good, and I think we've got enough in her. She's always run very well when she's had time between races."
Princess of Sylmar, a clear leader in the three-year-old championship race before her loss to Beholder in the Breeders' Cup last November, captured a minor stakes at Aqueduct prior to her loss to the Ogden Phipps. Last time, she was a 1-5 favorite in the 1 1/4-mile Delaware Handicap, but was beaten nearly three lengths by a loose-on-the-lead Belle Gallantey.
"She just missed in the Phipps," trainer Todd Pletcher said of Princess of Sylmar. "She ran a big race (in the Phipps) and didn't get a proper set-up in the Delaware Handicap and maybe didn't run her 'A' race, but she has been training exceptionally well and we believe she is sitting on a good effort."
Princess of Sylmar will wear blinkers for the first time on Friday.
Fiftyshadesofhay, whose graded stakes scores include the May 11 Ruffian and 2013 editions of the Black-Eyed Susan and Iowa Oaks, returns to dirt following a fourth-place finish in the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar.
The stellar Personal Ensign field is rounded out by the speedy, Todd Pletcher-trained Majestic River, who exits a 2 1/2-length score in sub-standard renewal of the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park.
The supporting feature is the $100,000 Tale of the Cat, a six-furlong dash for older horses that have not won a graded stakes in 2014. Grade 2 victors Bahamian Squall and Bern Identity are joined by stakes winners Traffic Light, Sensational Slam, and Royal Currier, as well as General George Handicap runner-up Tenango.
Makari seeks another big win in New York Turf Writers Cup
The latter will not return for the about 2 3/8-mile Turf Writers Cup, but otherwise the race looks very much like the Smithwick. Demonstrative, who ran his best race in more than a year when beaten a nose by Makari, captured this race by a length in 2012 over Charminster, who enters this renewal off a neck loss against optional claiming company on July 30 in his first outing in 14 months.
Grade 3 winner Pleasant Woodman, third by 7 1/4 lengths after setting the pace in the Smithwick, is joined by Italian Wedding and All Together, sixth and fourth in the Smithwick, respectively. That pair finished one-two in the Turf Writers Cup last season, with Italian Wedding the victor by a length.
Novice stakes winners Barnstorming and Staying On, both also-rans in the Smithwick, will line up Thursday as will For Non Stop, a nine-year-old who won by more than 27 lengths in his U.S. debut at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in April, and followed with a third-place finish behind Divine Fortune in the Iroquois, a Grade 1 event at Percy Warner Park in Nashville
The flat feature on Thursday's program is the $100,000 Union Avenue, a six-furlong dash for New York-bred fillies and mares. Risky Rachel, the 2012 Union Avenue winner, and multiple stakes winner Sunny Desert are the probable favorites.
Bayern (Offlee Wild), who exits smashing victories in the Haskell Invitational (G1) and Woody Stephens (G2), worked four furlongs in :47 2/5 on the Polytrack at Del Mar Tuesday morning and trainer Bob Baffert confirmed a few hours later during the NTRA teleconference that he will run in Saturday's $1 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga. Bayern, who posted the second-fastest work among 34 at the distance, earned his first stakes victory when recording a 7 1/2-length score in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens on June 7. He stretched out to two turns in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell on July 27 and romped to a 7 1/4-length decision in wire-to-wire fashion. The dark bay colt registered excellent BRIS Speed ratings of 108 and 106, respectively, for those efforts...
Jockey Mike Smith said during Tuesday's NTRA teleconference that it was a tough decision opting to ride Shared Belief over Game On Dude (Awesome Again) in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. "It was an extremely difficult decision," the Hall of Fame jockey said. "When Game On Dude shows up and runs his A-plus race, there are not too many in the world who can outrun him. He's going to be very, very difficult to beat. The decision just came down to, more than anything, that Shared Belief is three and has a few good years ahead of him. I'm planning on sticking with him." Trainer Bob Baffert had to replace Smith with Martin Garcia in last year's Pacific Classic due to a riding commitment and Game On Dude romped by 8 1/2 lengths. He will turn to Garcia once again on Sunday. Game On Dude is seven and the Hall of Fame trainer understood Smith's decision. "I really can't blame Mike. Mike's been great," Baffert noted. "He's helped out, taught me a lot of things about this horse when he got on him that we didn't know about. He's been a big factor in the success of Game On Dude. And he knows we have Martin as back up. Mike is a real classy guy, gentleman. He's going with the younger gelding. Nobody knows how good Shared Belief is. This is going to be the toughest test he's had. (Smith) knew if he did it, I wasn't going to throw a fit about it. I understood." Smith said he still has the utmost respect for Game On Dude: "I know if he gets things his own way, he's going to be extremely difficult. I hope we get some help."...
Having won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-G1) at Longchamp May 11 and Prix de Diane (Fr-G1) at Chantilly June 15, Avenir Certain (Le Havre) had little to prove other than her fitness in her comeback from a short holiday in Tuesday's Prix de la Nonette (Fr-G2) at Deauville, and she duly won with a degree of comfort to book a ticket to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1). Settled towards the rear of mid-division early by Gregory Benoist, the 3-5 pick did not have to engage top gear to cut down Crisolles (Le Havre) with just over a furlong remaining and score by 1 1/2 lengths, with Lavender Lane (Shamardal) 2 1/2 lengths back in third. "That was easy, like a piece of work," trainer Jean-Claude Rouget commented. "She will go to the Arc now and her stamina for a mile and a half has to be proven, but she won’t run in the Prix Vermeille (Fr-G1) beforehand."...
Patricia Generazio's homebred Pure Sensation (Zensational) will attempt to stretch his speed to one mile on Saratoga's inner turf in Wednesday's $100,000 Better Talk Now S. for three-year-olds. After seven dirt starts and one victory, Pure Sensation was switched to turf by trainer Christophe Clement on July 24 in the Quick Call Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint. He got caught in traffic racing on the inside, was taken back near the top of the stretch and then burst past the leaders to win by a nose in a time of 1:01 4/5. "He's not a fast horse; he's a really fast horse," Clement said. "I think he's a top-class sprinter at six, seven furlongs. I'm not sure if he's a one-turn, six- or seven-furlong (colt) or if he wants to go two turns and a mile. It's a big difference, and the only way to find out is to try. The quality and class he's got, for sure. I'm just not sure if he has the same quality and class going a mile. The idea is to try to stretch him out going two turns at a mile, which might be too ambitious, but he had a very nice work several days ago on the grass. And he rated well in the morning, so let's try and see what happens in the afternoon. There are no sprints for straight three-year-olds on the grass, and if there's any way for him to get a mile, we'll have a lot more options." His rivals include multiple stakes veteran Storming Inti (Stormy Atlantic), most recently third in the July 18 Sir Cat to eventual Secretariat (G1) runner-up Tourist (Tiznow); Irish Group 3 scorer Craftsman (Mastercraftsman), who exits his first U.S. win in the July 10 Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware; Mark My Way (Noonmark), winner of two straight divisions of the New York Stallion S. on turf; Toronto Cup third Heart to Heart (English Channel); and the Bill Mott-trained Los Borrachos (Pulpit)...
A new National Handicapping Championship online qualifier open exclusively to "rookie" NHC Tour members -- those that joined for the first time in 2014 -- has been set for September 21. The top three finishers will receive seats to the NHC, hotel accommodations and airfare reimbursement to Las Vegas for up to $400. Secondary prizes include credits for future play in upcoming NHCqualify.com online tournaments. The entry fee is $25. Registration will open at NHCqualify.com as the contest date draws nearer. NHC Tour points will not be awarded since eligibility is restricted to newbies.
For Wednesday or Next Raceday
AUGUST 21, 2014
by John Mucciolo
A trio of graded stakes races took the spotlight during the fifth week of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Alabama S. (G1): Repole Stable's STOPCHARGINGMARIA (Tale of the Cat) was roused to the lead at the top of the lane and gamely dug in through the stretch to secure a three-parts of a length score with John Velazquez in the irons. The top sophomore filly from the barn of Todd Pletcher endured 1 1/4 miles on the fast main oval in 2:05.
Sword Dancer Invitational S. (G1): Flaxman Holding LLC's homebred MAIN SEQUENCE (Aldebaran) picked up steam in early stretch and exploded late in earning a head tally under a well-time ride from Rajiv Maragh. The Graham Motion concluded 1 1/2 miles on the firm turf course in 2:24 3/5 in posting a second straight Grade 1 score on U.S. soil.
Lake Placid S. (G2): Besilu Stables' CROWN QUEEN (Smart Strike) was always well-placed before being asked for run in the lane and she responded with a half-length win under Velazquez. The blue-blooded filly finished off nine furlongs on the firm turf oval in 1:47 4/5.
A total of 61 races were held at the Saratoga Springs, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 30 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 56 percent of the wins during the week. From 33 races on the main oval, seven animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (21 percent), while four of the 28 races on the lawn were taken all the way on the front (14 percent).
We thought both ovals played fairly to most or all types, with a well-balanced week of racing on both surfaces. Six of the seven dirt wire jobs came in sprint runs, while three of the four grassy wire-to-wire winners came in route events.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin made us look good in saddling a trio of winners last week, including a pair that went off at nice prices. Continue to tab this barn going forward. Conditioner Chad Brown unveiled a few nice prospects on the turf but has a long way to go to reel in Todd Pletcher in the trainers' race.
Irad Ortiz Jr. is now within eight of reeling in Javier Castellano and bagging his first jockeys' win at Saratoga, and this fine young rider is capable for sure. His 20 percent win rate is excellent at this competitive meeting, and he also tops the earnings mark with more than $3.1 million in purses brought in.
HORSES TO WATCH
6TH -- ZEE BROS (Brother Derek) showed big early speed and while he was no match for the very sharp winner, this was a nice try for the stakes winner in his 2014 debut. Tab the Seth Benzel pupil for improvement in his subsequent outing.
9TH -- SPRING TO THE SKY (Langfuhr) didn't mind the move to the main oval on this occasion when leading throughout in a fine sprint score over a Grade 1 winner. The Bruce Brown trainee has won two in succession and is back in very good form, obviously.
5TH -- The John Kimmel-trained BAR OF GOLD (Medaglia d'Oro) overcame a tardy start to roll past this field late in a fine debut tally beneath Junior Alvarado. The juvenile filly won for a conditioner not know for his prowess for first-time starters, so we envision this one being a nice prospect going forward, especially as the distances increase.
6TH -- BLOFELD (Quality Road) was stuck chasing lone speed to midstretch but never gave way en route to a strong one-length debut tally for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The well-backed colt, who was hammered to 1-2 odds at first asking, was professional and we think he might become a nice one with a hint more seasoning.
SIGNATURE CAT (Discreet Cat) opened up a huge early lead and stayed on well throughout in a pretty sharp debut offering for trainer Eric Guillot. The homebred shouldn't be a maiden for long.
2ND -- UPSTART (Flatter) swept to the lead in early stretch and left little doubt late in posting a fine 5 1/4-length score in this debut for Richard Violette. The juvenile ridgling should make a ton of noise with fellow Empire State-bred runners with any kind of progression off of this.
9TH -- WEEKEND HIDEAWAY (Speightstown) shot to the lead soon after the start, shrugged off a test at the top of the lane and finished up well to post a two-length stakes score for Phil Serpe. The four-year-old colt is fine form current form and loves this venue -- we hope he gets one more race under his belt at the meeting.
4TH -- We have no idea what CAN'T HAPPEN HERE (Desert Party) beat in this debut run, but we're confident that this is a nice prospect going forward. The Chad Brown trainee tracked in fourth early, took the lead nearing midstretch and finished up well in a fine first offering. The juvenile colt got his final five-sixteenths in a superb :28 4/5 and could be a serious player this season, and beyond.
5TH -- RING KNOCKER (Birdstone) dueled on the front and was passed in early stretch, but she dug deep and made it a race all the way to the finish while being more than nine lengths clear of the third-place finishers. The Tom Albertrani pupil should be graduating soon after a pair of fine tries at this venue.
3RD -- Trainer George Weaver had CYCLOGENESIS (Stormy Atlantic) geared up for this debut and it showed, as the juvenile colt powered home in posting a pretty easy win under Corey Lanerie. The Kentucky-bred is cut out to run longer and potentially handle the turf, so he should have a lot of options going forward.
A Look Ahead
The Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers S. (G1) on Saturday is the centerpiece of the Saratoga meet, and the stellar Travers undercard features a trio of graded runs -- the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop Stakes, the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina Stakes and the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa Handicap.
A big race is on tap Friday, with Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar squaring off in the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign Stakes.
Click here for the monthly August Calendar
Top Speed/Class ratings
TOP BRIS CLASS RATINGS
(through August 18, 2014)
Note: Figures are for North American-based racing
At a Glance
AT A GLANCE SCHEDULE
*all times Eastern
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