2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Saratoga, 08/04/2023

August 3, 2023

Saratoga, Race 2 – Friday, August 4, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

SAR2:080423 – 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. This is an auction restricted event – hence it is only open to two-year-old maidens that have sold (or ‘RNAed’) for $50,000 or less. 14 juveniles have been entered, but four will have to sit and wait their turn as Also Eligibles. In the main field of ten, two brave gals are set to take on eight guys and the majority of the runners have at least one race under their belt. Specifically, five have battled one time previously, one has been out twice and four are First-Time Starters. Runhappy, Munnings, Twirling Candy and Nyquist are the standout sires in this one. The trainers that catch my eye are:  Contessa (who has two entered), Ward, Linda Rice, TAP, Sharp and Motion. Not our very favorite kind of affair since it has the auction restricted component, but ‘hey’ – this is still some high-quality 2YO racing and after all, it’s Saratoga. Let’s break it down…

#4 – Stuck on You (8/1) – Trainer Wesley Ward sends out this filly for her second afternoon run and she’s from Competitive Edge out of an unraced Street Cry mare. Owner Gayla Rankin plunked down $32,000 for her last September at the Keeneland yearling sale (6/17). After she competed back in mid-May at Churchill (on the dirt), WW sent her to Lexington for five workouts at KEE, before shipping her to SAR in late July for one recent spin around Oklahoma’s turf strip. Her last morning move in KY before shipping north was on 7/19/23 and it was pretty swift – she went a half mile in 47.8 seconds on the dirt (4/31). Tyler Gaffalione is set to be in the saddle.

Linda Rice, Leading Trainer at the Belmont Park 2023 Spring meet. (Adam Coglianese)

#5 – Piccata Prince (10/1) – This Munnings colt is a First-Time Starter and is conditioned by the meet’s overall leading trainer, Linda Rice (although she’s only started one other baby in a MSW race this meet). He’s out of a winless Ghostzapper mare (0 for 6) and this will be her first competitor. The final price tag was $50,000 for this guy when he went through the ring at Keeneland’s September Yearling (80/91). Rice has put him to work in the mornings on six occasions, all at The Spa, the first three at Oklahoma and the most recent three on the main track. None of his work times have been much to write home about. Jose will be in the irons.

#7 – Cptbobsbtwentynine (3/1) – TAP trains this FTS colt who is sired by Air Force Blue and his mom was a fine race mare who banked $393K during her racing days. She went four for 11 and also captured a Grade 2 event on the lawn. This guy was an apparent bargain when he sold at the 2021 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale back in 2021 as a weaning when he hammered down for only $7,000. Todd has put a good base into this fella, having worked him a total of 14 times (if my math is correct, he’s already drilled a total of 53 furlongs, or 6 5/8 miles). He started his workout regime down in Florida and then his last ten morning moves were done at Monmouth. His best was his most recent – on 7/28/23 he traveled four panels in 48 seconds flat handily from the gate (2/36). No surprise that TAP has Irad assigned to ride.

#2 – Better Luck (5/1) – Twirling Candy is pops to this colt who will also be making his first afternoon effort and he’s trained by Joe Sharp. His mom – by Artie Schiller – could only muster one victory from seven starts and earned a meager $13,000 on the track. This guy sold as a two-year-old for $25,000 (29/34). He only shows five official workouts, all in Kentucky, the first three at Keeneland and the most recent two at Churchill’s Training facility. His last effort covered 5/8 and he did it from the gate in 1:00.8 (3/6). Luis Saez gets the mount.

#8 – Uncle Eddie (8/1) – Gary Contessa wheels this colt back just two weeks after his most recent race here at SAR where he finished third, beaten by 12 lengths in a race with the same conditions as this one. Sired by Nyquist from a winless Overanalyze mare, this guy (who is the first foal from his dam) brought $40,000 at the OBS March 2YO sale (23/29). He’s had one work since his last race, and it was a bullet move of 35.8 seconds for three panels over the Oklahoma strip (1/11). Javier Castellano gets the return engagement to pilot this fella. 

Pick – #4 Stuck on You – Typically, it’s a challenge to settle on only one horse as my pick, but very honestly, it was the opposite this time. I’m going with this filly because it appears that Ward has worked her back into fighting shape and we all know that he’s clever with managing these two-year-olds. Her last work down in Kentucky was encouraging and I’m glad she’s had a feel for the turf, albeit across the street at the training track. The experience of her one race, even though it was quite some time ago, can only help. This gal is still waiting to be minted in the Game of Silks and shows the quality of horse that is still available in the pool.

It’s great to be back with you after spending a terrific, long weekend up at the Spa. As all of you know that have had the pleasure of visiting Saratoga, this place is nothing short of magical. Taking in the training as the sun rises and then watching the babies run across Union Avenue on the main track in the afternoon is pretty much a perfect day. But now it’s back to business. The conditions book shows two unrestricted 2YO MSW races on both Saturday and Sunday, so hopefully they both fill and run. You know that we’ll be over all that they throw our way and can’t wait to get after it right here at PastTheWire.com. Until then, enjoy this one, my Edgie comrades. 

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

The 2YO EdgeMan started following horse racing when his family moved to Louisville, KY when he was 9 years old.  The story goes that he...

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