July 18, 2024

Be Your Best aims to follow up in P.G. Johnson

Be Your Best romps in her unveiling at Saratoga (Photo by Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photos)

Smart debut winner Be Your Best will try to go 2-for-2 in Thursday’s $150,000 P.G. Johnson S. at Saratoga. The 1 1/16-mile test on the inner turf has drawn a field of nine promising juvenile fillies, including one main-track-only hopeful.

P.G. Johnson S. – Race 10 (6:13 p.m. ET)

Be Your Best, by the brilliant Muhaarar, created a fine impression in her July 31 course-and-distance maiden for Horacio de Paz. Getting off a beat slow and rating behind a sedate pace, the Irish import exploded down the stretch to win handily by 3 1/4 lengths. Jose Ortiz stays aboard the talented prospect, a homebred for bloodstock maven Mike Ryan.

Interestingly, Ryan also has a connection to perhaps Be Your Best’s main rival, fellow Irish-bred Idea Generation from the Chad Brown barn. Ryan scouted out the blueblood daughter of Dubawi at the Tattersalls October yearling sale, purchasing her for $486,377 on behalf of Klaravich Stables.

Idea Generation appeared on the verge of a debut score over this track and trip July 24, only to idle a tad and lose the photo. The result turned out to be moot; stewards declared a no-contest due to a brief difficulty with moving the starting gate out of the way. That hiccup didn’t affect the horses who finished the race, but it did cause a few others to pull up when an outrider signaled the problem early. Idea Generation thus makes her first official start in a stakes, with new rider Flavien Prat.

Two others are also proven in the P.G. Johnson conditions, both likely pace factors who graduated versus New York-breds. Lady Jasmine attended the dawdling front runner en route to her debut victory. Co-owned by trainer David Donk, the Cairo Prince filly figures to secure forward position on the rail for a returning John Velazquez. Recognize stole her Aug. 18 maiden in her first attempt over a route and on turf, following a pair of dirt sprint losses. By freshman sire Bolt d’Oro, she’s drawn on the outside in post 8. Junior Alvarado picks up the mount for Bill Mott.

A pair with stakes experience on other surfaces try turf here. Pachuca came from the clouds to take second in the Ellis Park Debutante S., building on her deep-closing debut on the Gulfstream Park dirt. The well-bred daughter of Ghostzapper represents the same connections as champion Letruska, as a St. George Stable homebred trained by Fausto Gutierrez. Damaso, third in the My Dear S. on Woodbine’s Tapeta, bids to bounce back from a remote fifth in the Adirondack (G3).

A couple of recent maiden winners on synthetic now take the class hike while changing surfaces. Indian Spideroo wired a one-mile maiden on the Presque Isle Tapeta, but Mark Casse’s Whichwaze stretches out from a Woodbine sprint. The main-track-only entrant, Leave No Trace, was a good-looking winner of a Spa maiden restricted to horses whose hammer price at auction was $50,000 or less.

The Thursday card kicks off with a steeplechase rescheduled from last week, the $75,000 Michael G. Walsh Novice S.