2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Saratoga, 08/13/2023

August 12, 2023

Saratoga, Race 1 – Sunday, August 13, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

SAR1:081323 – Seven furlongs on the dirt.  Seven juvenile gals have thrown their names into the hat with hopes of getting their picture taken after the conclusion of this event.  Excellent trainers?  For sure – Mott (2), Albertrani, Morley, and McPeek.  Sires?  You bet – War Front, Tapit, and Gun Runner.  And how about dams (as measured by their performance on the oval)?  Holy cow, YES!  Six of the seven won north of $100K, five of the seven banked more than $200K and four won $300K or more.  One even brought home over $2 million – not too shabby, huh?  Let’s go…

#1 – Exhilarate (4/1) – I won’t keep you in suspense long, this is the filly whose dam cashed in for $2.63 million of purses – you’ll certainly remember her – she’s the great Elate.  She won 7 of her 19 starts, including two Grade 1s and also won at first asking while a 2YO in November of 2016 at The Big A, putting up an E-Speed Fig of 88.  Her highest ever EBSF was a whopper – 119.  Today’s filly is sired by War Front and she’s been out one time previously.  Back on 7/8/23 she ran third at Belmont in a 5 ½ furlong event on the dirt.  She did some running late, but was no match for the runaway winner.  This gal is a Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider homebred and trained by Hall of Famer, Bill Mott.  She’s put in three, half mile maintenance works, all over at Belmont Park, since her race.  And yes, you guessed it, Junior Alvarado gets the return engagement to guide her.

#3 – Stellamaris (2/1) – The Morning Line favorite is another homebred, conditioned by Horacio De Paz and sired by the First-Crop Sire, Catalina Cruiser.  Her dam won more than $200K on the track going 4 for 16, including a win the first time that her hoofs hit the track when she was a two-year-old at Delaware Park (EBSF = 80).  She’s worked ten times getting prepped for today’s debut – the first three here at SAR, then three at BEL and finally four more of at least four furlongs here, over The Spa’s main oval.  Her next to last drill, on 7/30/23, she covered a half mile in a blazing 47.01 seconds (1/92).  Rafael Santana, Jr. will be in the saddle.

#5 – Genetics (6/1) – Mott’s other entry in this one is by the great Tapit and is out of a Point Given mare that earned over $1/2 million on the track.  She was Canada’s Champion Grass Mare, won a G3, was 7 of 16 and scored at first asking in November of her 2YO year at Woodbine, posting an 86 EBSF (her tops was 109).  This gal sold for a smooth $525K as a yearling at KEE Sept (10/39).  She’s been working up here at Oklahoma and has a total of ten morning drills.  Her best was a bullet back on 6/2/23 – 3f in 36.62 seconds (1/35).  Jose Lezcano gets the nod to pilot her.

#7 – Clearly a Test (5/2) – Jose Camejo brings this homebred filly back after a run on opening day here at Saratoga.  On that occasion, she was a pretty well beaten fourth, going off at odds of 12/1.  Her immediate pedigree is from Louisiana, sired by the unheralded Clearly Now and produced by a Star Guitar mare that won over $400K on the track by winning 8 of 14 races, including a win at 2YO in her second race at Delta Downs.  She’s breezed twice since her race here at SAR – her last was done in 36.62 seconds over three panels on this past Wednesday (3/13).  Jose gets the return ride.

Pick – #1 Exhilarate – OK, I may be picking a bit from the heart, but this doesn’t strike me as a tremendous field, even tho the dams are incredible.  This gal completely had me at her dam, but I also do think that her one race, along with the three works that she’s recently put in, will help her break her maiden in this one.  I have to be honest – I’m quite jealous of West Coast Stables – they are the fortunate owners of this filly in the exciting Game of Silks.  

Embrace this race, my Edgie Aficionados! 

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

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