2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Saratoga, 08/05/2023

August 4, 2023

Saratoga, Races 1 & 2 – Saturday, August 5, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

SAR1:080523 – 1 1/16 miles on the lawn.  Nine colts have been dropped into the entry box and are set to square off in this very competitive affair.  Seven of these guys will be making their first start, while two have done battle in the afternoon one time previously.  The list of trainers is terrific, starting with two colts each conditioned by Maker, Pletcher and Chad Brown and one each for Asmussen, Joseph O’Brien and Motion.  Similarly, the docket of sires is fantastic – Constitution (Winstar Farms), City of Light, No Nay Never, Quality Road, Twirling Candy, More Than Ready and Runhappy.  Additionally, the fine First-Crop Sire from Spendthrift Farm – Omaha Beach – has one entered and ready to rumble.  Off we go…

#1 – Aspenite (8/1) – One of the seven firsters in this field, this colt is trained by Asmussen and is from Constitution.  His dam was unable to locate the Winner’s Circle in the five attempts that she made, but she’s by the fine broodmare sire, Candy Ride.  He sold well, demanding $375K when she went through the Keeneland ring as a yearling, last September (16/105).  He’s been out for work on eight mornings, three at KEE and then two at CD, before shipping up north to put in three more at Saratoga – the last two covering 5/8 on the Oklahoma training track.  His best was his first one up here in NY on the main strip at SAR when he notched a 47.47 for a ½ mile from the gate (3/174).  Dylan Davis will be his guide.

#3 – Innate (2/1) – The second choice on the Morning Line is a colt by the Irish stud, No Nay Never.  He and his mama were also bred in Ireland – she earned $75,000 on the track, capturing one of the nine races that she competed in and had an EBSF top of 104.  This guy sold as a yearling at Goffs and brought $86,482 (64/75) and this is his dam’s first to race.  He has already made one appearance on the track, but that was on 7/12/23 over in Ireland when he missed by only a half-length at odds of 9/1 in a field of 14.  Take note that Joseph O’Brien is his trainer and this fella does not show any public works – he will be ridden by Jose.

#5 – Allied Attack (5/1) – My sharp Edgies will guess that this is the colt by Omaha Beach and of course they are correct.  The first of two conditioned by Maker, this guy’s mom made her first ever start a winning one at Laurel Park in September of her 2YO year.  However, she was never the fastest again in nine additional tries, but did net $52,000 on the track.  The bidding stopped at $185K back in 2021 when this dude was a weanling at the KEE Nov Breeding Sale (4/13).  This First-Time Starter started his workout career with four morning outings down in KY at KEE, before shipping up to SAR in early July.  He’s posted two bullet works, one at each of the two tracks that he’s traveled over, and both covered five panels.  Irad is listed as his pilot, but he also shows to be up on the #9 horse.

#7 – Walley World (6/1) – Being a huge fan of the ‘Vacation’ movies, starring Chevy Chase, this colt has the ‘name of the year’, in my humble opinion, as this colt’s dam is ‘Forced Family Fun’.  His dad is the late More Than Ready – and he sold for $220K as a yearling at KEE Sept last fall.  Mom was 0 for 3 and this is her first runner.  Conditioned by Chad Brown, this FTS has worked six times on the dirt at Oklahoma with his effort there on 6/12/23 being a big bullet – three furlongs in 36.84 (1/58).  Two works back – on 7/23/23 – he ticked off a half mile on the SAR turf training track in 51.22 seconds (53/67) and then, lastly went a half mile on the main track at SAR a week later in 48.64 seconds (20/92).  Manny Franco will slip his boots into the irons.

#8 – Falfurrias (4/1) – The second of TAP’s two in this event, this homebred colt is by Runhappy out of a Speightstown mare who banked $212K, with a 4 for 11 record, including one victory in a stakes affair on the turf.  She’s also thrown a half to today’s runner who earned north of $100K while racing.  This fella is one of the two that have run previously – his effort was on 7/9/23 at BEL over 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt when he finished a well beaten fourth at the short odds of 9/5.  Since his race, he worked four poles at BEL and then most recently, about a week ago, he took a morning spin over the Oklahoma turf and covered a half mile in 49.41 seconds (30/85).  Flavien Prat is scheduled to handle the reins.

#9 – Trade Imbalance (8/5) – The M/L favorite was a $165K yearling pickup (6/59), now owned by Klaravich Stables.  This FTS colt is sired by Dialed In and is out of a 20 YO mare that won her first race in August of her two-year-old campaign at Colonial Downs and went on to be 4 of 30, with total winnings of $84,000.  She’s also thrown a colt that won in his second try while two at Laurel Park posting a 95 EBSF and then followed that up in his last race at two with a stakes victory down at Tampa Bay Downs, this time hanging a 105 EBSF.  He went on to win one more race in a total of 15 tries and brought home $146K in total purse money.  Trainer Chad Brown worked him seven times at Saratoga’s training track before giving him three breezes on the big track.  His best effort was two back, on 7/20/23 when he clicked of a time of 47.85 seconds for a ½ mile (5/89).  Irad is listed to be in the saddle, but again, he also has been penciled in on #5.  Make sure to watch to see who he decides to take.

Pick – #1 Aspenite – It is super interesting that Irad is named on two different horses and neither are one of Todd’s two – make sure to keep an eye on who he chooses.  I’m going with Asmussen’s colt, even though he’s drawn the gate nearest the fence.  Constitution is a very underrated sire on the grass and he’s offspring have done very well in these 2YO MSW races on the lawn here at the Spa.  I also like that he’s logged two five furlong works here and his last four furlong move that he registered from the gate on the main track was impressive.  Dylan Davis doesn’t often ride for Asmussen in these races – let’s see what he can do at a nice price – I know that I’ll be cheering along with the lucky owner of this guy in the Game of Silks – Southwest Stables

SAR2:080523 – Six Furlongs on the dirt.  The boys again take center stage in this one, with 11 dudes entered (10 colts and one gelding).  Only three have any experience racing – two with one outing and one with two.  The other eight will be doing battle for the first time in their young lives.  Good trainers?  You better believe it.  Try out two from TAP and one each from Handal, McGaughey, Chad Brown, Asmussen, Mott, Arnold and Lukas.  Strong sires?  Absolutely.  Feast your eyes on Curlin, Constitution (Winstar), Speightstown (Winstar), Gun Runner, Practical Joke, Ghostzapper and Justify.  And if that ain’t enough – the #1 First-Crop Sire – Mitole (Spendthrift) – has one in here.  What a field!  Without further ado…

#1 – Be You (2/1) – It’s not a News Flash that Repole Stable and Todd Pletcher have the M/L favorite and this FTS colt is by Curlin.  His dam earned over $200K on the track going 2 for 6.  She won at first asking as a two-year-old in September at Belmont and followed that up with a win in Aqueduct’s G3 Tempted Stakes in early November.  And, oh by the way, she is a half to Constitution and sold as a broodmare prospect for a cool $2 million.  Today’s runner went through the ring at Keeneland last September as a yearling and brought $320K (38/60).  TAP has put eight works into this fella in the past 60 days – six over the Spa’s Training Track and most recently two on the main track.  He’s fired three bullets, including his last effort when he blazed four poles from the gate in 47.11 seconds (1/101).  Guess who’s set to ride?  Yes – you got it, Irad.

#3 – Pentathlon (10/1) – Speightstown is the proud pops to this colt who will be making his first start and he’s conditioned by Shug.  Tapit is the sire of his dam who won $185K as a race mare, sporting a record of 2 for 8 – this is her first foal to hit the track.  This dude is a Phipps homebred and they’ve added a few partners on him.  He’s got a solid base in him with a total of 13 works, including nine at Belmont and the last three over the Oklahoma training track.  His last work was likely his best when he went in 36.25 seconds for 3/8 (2/11).  Manny Franco will manage the jockey duties.

#4 – Locked (8/1) – Pletcher’s second entry in this one comes by way of the wonderful sire – Gun Runner – and out of a mare by Malibu Moon who was successful in only one race from the five that she attempted ($38,000 in purses).  $425K was the winning bid to bring this yearling home from the KEE Sept Sale (24/66).  To prepare for his first race, TAP has put seven works into him over the past 60 days – all here at the Spa – with the last two coming over the big boy track.  His last three, all at four furlongs, have been strong, with each being completed in at 48 and change.  Jose has been tapped to be his pilot.

#5 – Domestic Product (3/1) – is a homebred from Klaravich Stables and is a firster under the tutelage of Brad Cox.  Practical Joke and an unraced Paynter mare combined to bring us this colt.  He’s a half to a Connect colt who did score at age two, but it wasn’t until his fourth start that year and it came in a Maiden Claiming event in December at AQU.  Today’s combatant has seen nine Saratoga workouts and he graduated to the main track in his last three.  No specific works stand out as overly fast, but his workout pattern is solid.  Flavien Prat has accepted the offer to try to boot him home.  

#7 – Ozone (5/1) – This colt is one of the three in here that has seen prior action in the afternoon and he’s trained by Asmussen and his dad is the mighty Mitole. Mama (by Scat Daddy) won nearly $100K on the track going 3 for 14, including a win at two in a Maiden Claimer at Monmouth and then a win, while still two, in an Allowance affair at Parx with an 83 EBSF.  She’s also thrown a half to this guy who banked over $200K.  In the auction ring, today’s runner hammered for the tidy sum of $375K as a yearling at the KEE September Sale (4/116).  His lone race was back in late June at Ellis Park when he started a bit tardy, but ran up to challenge before running out of gas and finishing in fourth place, 6+ lengths behind.  He went of at odds of 6/5 that day in the five furlong event.  Since that run, he’s gone back to morning work four times, the last three coming over today’s training track.  Two works back, he earned a small bullet (1/6) when he traveled 5/8 in 1:01.90.  Steve’s ole standby jock – Ricardo Santana, Jr. has received the call.

#11 – Just Steel (4/1) – With two races under his belt, this Justify colt is the most experienced runner in today’s field.  BC Stables plunked down $1/2 million for this guy (also making him the most expensive) at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale (11/78).  He finished second to the very impressive Pirate in has last start here at SAR on 7/15/23.  Since that race, The Coach has pumped two works into him with his most recent coming just a few days ago when he zipped a half mile in 47.6 seconds (1/16).  Joel Rosario gets the return assignment to guide him.

Pick – #7 Ozone – The favorite (#1) could certainly turn out to be a monster, but we always attempt to stear clear of the fav, so we are going with one of the three with experience.  His prior race was respectable; however, it was clear that he was not yet fit enough to win at that point.  So, Steve’s inserted some work into him and I think that he’ll be ready to fire today, especially if he can get out of the gate better.  I love Mitole and this was one of the best-selling yearlings from his fantastic first-crop.  Two wins as a juvenile for mom is also a bonus.  The extra furlong should be fine and I’m hopeful to get a decent price on this guy.  Bottom line, we are going for the Asmussen Daily Double.  Some fortunate individual has picked him up in the Game of Silks, but they have not yet registered him.

Wow, I can’t wait til Saturday – these two races are going to be outstanding.  And more in the hopper for Sunday – I’ll be back with you to cover as much of the action as possible.  Be safe and certainly enjoy these terrific races, my Edgie Patriots.

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

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