2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Saratoga, 08/12/2023

August 11, 2023

Saratoga, Race 2 & 5 – Saturday, August 12, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

SAR2:081223 – Five and a half furlongs on the lawn.  A baker’s dozen has been entered to throw down and battle this one out – 11 colts, a gelding and one filly.  Of the ten in the main field, only two have any racing experience and both of them have only been out on one occasion.  This list of trainers, as normal here at The Spa, is strong – Maker sends out two and Pletcher, Clement, Weaver, Sharp, Ward and Lynch will all tighten the girth on one each.  As far as sires, we’ve also got dandies – Kingman is the stallion for two of the runners; Munnings, Hard Spun, Nyquist, Mendelssohn and Twirling Candy each have one juvenile set to roll.  Add to that a colt by the terrific First-Crop Sire from Spendthrift Farm – Omaha Beach.  We’ve got a good one on our hands here folks – let’s make this happen…

#2 – Revelatory (9/2) – TAP draws the rail with this St. Elias homebred colt by Munnings who is out of a winless Creative Cause mare.  Mom has thrown a filly that won north of $100K, but she was only 1 for 7.  Today’s competitor is a FTS who has had six morning moves in the past 60 days here at Saratoga.  His first two were over the training grounds across Union Avenue.  His most impressive was back on 7/5/23 when he went three panels in 36.21 seconds to earn a bullet (1/27).  Irad is Todd’s man to handle the riding duty.

#3 – Reverend Moon (8/1) – Another homebred, this colt is a firster and comes to us from Robert S. Evans.  His sire is the wonderful Omaha Beach and he likely got his name from his mama, Grand Moon.  She could not find the Winner’s Circle in the five tries that made up her racing career and she has produced three foals that have started and one winner.  Trainer Christophe Clement had a winner in a 2YO MSW here at Saratoga last Sunday and then he also scored at this level on Thursday, so he’s heating up along with the summer weather.  This guy started his training down at Payson Park in the spring, shipped up to SAR for three breezes around the training track, vanned over to Belmont for four, half mile works and finally came back here to The Spa for three works at Oklahoma (the first two on the grass and the most recent on the dirt).  Interestingly, none of these 14 works were from the gate, although I’m sure Clement has schooled him properly.  Timewise, his efforts are quite solid, but none too flashy – his best is a ‘small bullet’ of 49.19 seconds for four furlongs at BEL on 7/5/23 (1/9).  Joel Rosario has been tapped to pilot him today.

#7 – Ocean Mermaid (8/5) – The Morning Line favorite happens to be the lone filly in this one facing off against the boys.  She has the experience of one race which was a turf affair down at Gulfstream Park on 5/13/23 when she chased the victor the entire five furlongs, before finishing 2 ½ lengths short in the end.  This filly is by one of my favorite turf sires – Kingman – out of a Frankel mare who also never finished first on the track and whose only other foal is 0 for 1 in her young career.  Today’s runner sold for the equivalent of $252,546 last year as a yearling at the Tattersalls October Sale (20/30).  Conditioner WW has pumped three, 4f works into her, all down at Keeneland, since her run and none caught the timer’s eye.

Pick – #2 Revelatory (9/2) – TAP and Irad at 9/2 with a Munnings colt that is a St. Elias homebred?  Yes, please.  Additionally, he’s been on property for quite a while and has had the benefit of four morning trips over today’s surface (assuming this one comes off the turf).  Here’s yet another one with a bright future still ready and available to be minted by some lucky owner in the Game of Silks.

SAR5:081223 – Seven Furlongs on the dirt.  We got a very solid field of eight colts set to rock n’ roll.  Only one of these guys has even battled it out in the afternoon (just one time).  TAP, Moquett, Mott, Clement, The Coach and Asmussen each will secure the saddle on one competitor.  And for sires, we’ve got two Curlins, and one each from West Coast, Khozan, Liam’s Map, American Pharoah and Hard Spun.  Let’s get right after it…

#1 – Eliminate (9/5) – Todd again draws the fence for this colt to start, but of course Irad is riding again and is as good as there is in this situation, so I’m sure that he’ll be fine starting against the rail.  This guy, sired by Curlin, was bred by Stonestreet and picked up by Repole Stable and Spendthrift Farm as a $525K yearling at the Keeneland September Sale (18/60).  His dam was a strong race mare having won four times from 23 starts (one being a G3) and banking $316K.  She also won at first asking in September of her two-year-old year under the Twin Spires and fashioned an 89 E-Speed Fig (her top EBSF was 104).  Today’s colt has never raced before, but TAP has him cranked up with eight workouts – the first five at CD and the most recent three on the main track here in upstate NY.  On 7/9/23, he blazed a half mile in 47.11 seconds (1/101) and this past Sunday he again went fast – 47.85 seconds for four poles (5/204).

#2 – Chaperone (8/1) – Another Curlin colt making his first start, this fella nearly brought seven figures last year as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton’s NY Sale when his final hammer price was $950K (7/60).  This dude’s mom was a superstar on the oval, having raked in $1.13 million in earnings, winning half of her ten starts, including a Grade 1 and two Grade 3s – this colt is her first to race.  Managed by Ron Moquett, he started working today’s combatant down in KY, where he put eight works into him at Churchill Downs.  In the latter part of July, he shipped him north for two five furlong spins on the main strip here at SAR.  His times are not brilliant, but it’s good to see him get those 5/8 works into him.  Brother Jose will be his captain.

#5 – Determinist (5/1) – St. Elias Stables (and partners) team up again with Christophe to bring you this Liam’s Map colt who was picked up last September at Keeneland’s Yearling Sale for a nifty $650K, which tied him as the most expensive yearling sold in 2022 by his sire from the 63 that changed hands at public auction.  His Speightstown dam was 3 for 9 with $85K collected in purse money.  Like most of the rest, he’s never been out in the afternoon, but has nine morning efforts in at the Oklahoma oval.  Last Friday, he motored past four poles in 47.65 seconds (4/67) and also fired off a ‘small bullet’ on 7/8/23, when he went 5/8 of a mile in 1:01.2 (1/7).  Joel Rosario gets the call to steer him.

#6 – Ridgewood Runner (6/1) – The only colt in the race with experience comes off of a 7/9/23 run over Belmont’s dirt when he led, but tired in a five and a half furlong event after setting fractions of 22 4/5 and 46 3/5 seconds.  Ultimately, he finished second, beaten by three lengths.  Since his afternoon journey, he’s come over to The Spa for three morning drills over the main track (4f, 5f and 5f).  On 7/27/23, he clicked off a bullet – 5/8 in 1:00.31 (1/15).  Conditioner Carlos Martin will give Dylan Davis the leg up on this dude.

#8 – Informed Patriot (6/1) – Asmussen sends out this Hard Spun colt for his first effort to bang heads in competition.  Kirk and Judy Robison ‘only’ had to part with $90,000 to pick him up as a yearling last Sept at KEE (26/69).  Mama broke her maiden at first asking in July of her 2YO campaign right here at Saratoga and hung an 88 E-Speed Fig that day.  Next start, she won a stakes race in August, again at The Spa (EBSF = 90).  She won one more event in eight additional attempts and finished with a bankroll of $162K.  She’s done well in the breeding shed, too, throwing a gelding who took down $189K (5/34) and a horse who you’ll remember – Spun to Run (a full bro to today’s runner).  He captured the 2019 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – 116 EBSF – and his highest-ever EBSF was a smokin 123.  By the end of his racing career, he had amassed winnings of $1.16 million with a 5 for 16 record.  Steve started today’s runner out with six works at Keeneland, vanned him west on I-64 for four more at Churchill, before shipping him up to Saratoga for his most recent two efforts.  His last down in KY, on 7/19/23, was a move of 4f in 100.4 (2/15) and his first one up in NY clocked in at 48.77 seconds (2/26).  Rafael Santana, Jr. gets the opportunity to slip his boots into the stirrups.

Pick – #8 Informed Patriot – The #1 horse could be a beast, but anyone can pick chalk – we are going with Mr. Asmussen.  The obvious is his full brother, but I also like the fact that mama was so precocious (winning right here, twice) and that his work tab is very good and he’s logged 5 ¾ miles in the morning.  He’s still available in the Game of Silks.

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

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