Alfred G. Vanderbilt Headlines Stakes-Loaded Week at Saratoga

July 22, 2020

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Racing this week at Saratoga runs Wednesday-Sunday and features 8 stakes, 5 graded, with purses over $1 million! Action kicks off Wednesday with a 10-race card and 12:50 p.m. first post.

Up first in race one are seven competitors from Ireland, Great Britain and Kentucky in the $55,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes Steeplechase.

Then action moves to the inaugural edition of the $85,000 Lubash for 3-year-olds and up New York-breds. The stakes will be contested on the turf at 1 1/16 mile.

Morning line favorite, Cross Border, trained by Mike Maker, will break from gate one at 1/2 odds. The 6-year-old son of English Channel out of Empire Maker mare Empress Josephine was bred by Berkshire Stud & B. D. Gibbs and is owned by Three Diamonds Farm.

With three starts in 2020 placing second twice, Cross Border finished fifth in the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont on July 4.

Jose Ortiz has the return call to post.

A close favorite at 2/1, Todd Pletcher trainee Blewitt was lightly raced in 2019 but the 6-year-old bay had four starts in 2020 with one win. In his last start, the Commentator Stakes (Black Type) June 12 at Belmont, the son of Uncle Mo out of  Stopspendingmaria gave a game effort to place fourth by 2 lengths in a four-way stretch battle under John Velazquez.

Typically a dirt miler, this will be Blewitt’s first start on grass. The Repole Stable‘s homebred will start from post 6 with Velazquez again in the irons.

Rounding out the field are (post, horse, trainer, jockey, mlo):

3. The J Y (Discreet Cat) – Mark Henning – Manny Franco – 10/1

4. Dante’s Fire (Temple City) – Mike Maker – Irad Ortiz Jr. – 8/1

5. Rapt (Hat Trick {JPN}) – Robert Ribaudo – Dylan Davis – 12/1

Drawing post 2 is Yankee Division (Midnight Lute) who is Main Track Only.

The Lubash is Race 3 and posts at 1:54 p.m. ET.

Excitement ramps up Thursday at Saratoga with a Grade 1 Steeplechase event. Nine international runners from France, Ireland, Great Britain and Canada will compete in the $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Handicap. First on the card of ten races, post time is 12:50 p.m.

The $100,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes, Statue of Liberty Division, for 3-year-old fillies goes off as Race 4 with a 2:29 p.m. post.

Trainers Kelly Rubley, Linda Rice and Kim Laudati bring Dixie Cannon, Officer Hutchy and Apollo’s Abraxas, respectively, up against Brad Cox, Christophe Clement, James Ryerson and John Morrison with Nicky Scissors, Fresco, Holmdel Park and Hunnybunnerdini, respectively.

The Friday feature is the Grade 3 $100,000 Quick Call for 3-year-olds at 5 1/2 fulongs on the turf.

Jack Sisterson brings a pair of contenders in High Cruise (Bayern) and Flap Jack (Oxbow). With his own duo, Mark Casse‘s entries are Jack and Noah (FR) (Bated Breath {GB}) and Old Chestnut (Speightstown). Adding her “two cents” Linda Rice will run Power Up Paynter (Paynter) and Turn Aside, an American Pharoah colt, always a fan fav.

Other entries are Doug O’Neill‘s Fore Left (Candy Swirl), and Sky of Hook trained by Rudy Rodriguez, who is main track only.

The Quick Call is Race nine on a ten-race card, post time 5:46 p.m.

Rounding out the weekend are all graded stakes action. Saturday is the $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) and $200,000 Ballston Spa (G2). Sunday will see the running of the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2).

The 2020 meet at historic Saratoga Race Course features 71 stakes worth $14.45 million in purses. Browse the stakes to see past race winners here 》

How To Watch and Get That Extra Spa Experience

Catch the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) and 6 other stakes this week on Saratoga Live! This award-winning show airs on FOX Sports every day of the meet and provides in-depth analysis, special features and of course, the best racing in North America.

Imperial Hint wins the 2019 Alfred G. Vanderbilt

Watch ‘Saratoga Live!’ Saratoga Live, NYRA’s highly-acclaimed and award-winning television program covering live racing at historic Saratoga Race Course, is distributed to a nationwide audience across FS2. Saratoga Live featured more than 190 hours of live programming in 2019 compared to 80 hours when the broadcast was first introduced in 2016.

A featured Saratoga Live segment, “When Rachel Raised the Rafters” earned a 2019 Eclipse Award in the ‘Television Feature’ category. Broadcast on FS2 during the Fox Sports telecast of the Aug. 30, 2019 Woodward, the segment, produced by NYRA’s Ernie Munick and narrated by Maggie Wolfendale, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra capping her historic 2009 Horse of the Year season by besting older males to become the first filly to capture the Woodward.

Watch “When Rachel Raised the Rafters”

Date, Channel & Time

All times are Eastern and details are subject to change.

Wednesday, July 22

FS2 – 1-6 pm

MSG+ – 1-6 pm

FS Regionals – 1-3 pm

$55,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes

$85,000 Lubash Stakes (Inaugural)

Saratoga Entries for Wednesday, July 22

First post 12:50 p.m.

Thursday, July 23

FS2 – 1-6 pm

MSG+ – 1-6 pm

FS Regionals – 3-6 pm

$100,000 A.P. Smithwick Handicap (G1) (Steeplechase)

$100,000 NYSSS Statue of Liberty Division

Saratoga Entries for Thursday, July 23

First post 12:50 p.m.

Friday, July 24

FS2 – 1-6:30 pm

MSG+ – 1-6:30 pm

FS Regionals – 3-6 pm

$100,000 Quick Call (G3)

Saratoga Entries for Friday, July 24

First post 1:10 p.m.

Saturday, July 25

FS2 – 1-3:30 pm

FS1 – 3:30-7 pm

MSG+ – 1-7 pm

FS Regionals – 3-7 pm

$250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap(G1)

$200,000 Ballston Spa (G2)

Saratoga Entries for Saturday, July 25 TBA

Sunday, July 26

FS1 – 1-3 pm

FS2 – 3-6:30 pm

MSG+ – 1-6:30 pm

FS Regionals – 3-6:30 pm

$150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2)

Saratoga Entries for Sunday, July 26 TBA

Free Equibase PPs will be available for every live broadcast. Use the promo code FREEPP to join NYRA Bets and bet while watching the show!

Get The Spa Experience At Home!

Your Summer Place: Participate Virtually and Watch Saratoga from Home!

Virtual Events and At-Home Activities: Elevate your at-home Saratoga experience with Your Summer Place, the home of Saratoga virtual events. Check out some special recipes made for the Saratoga Meet, enjoy tip sheets for each Saturday of the meet and more! Activities and downloadable collectibles will continue to be added throughout the meet. 

Virtual Pet Adoption: NYRA will be partnering with the Saratoga County Animal Shelter and Greyhound Rescue of New York for this year’s virtual pet adoption. Check out this week’s featured dogs on

Saratoga Recipe Book: Test out some great summertime recipes to cook and enjoy while watching world-class racing! (Recipes created by Saratoga Race Course food and beverage provider, Levy.)

And much more! Visit 》

Name Your Race: 2020 Saratoga race names are now available to reserve through the NYRA Box Office, allowing fans to continue a longstanding tradition. Click for pricing and to reserve your own race 》


Photo credit: NYRA

Contributing Authors

MB Kalinich

Maribeth Kalinich is a racing enthusiast and historian who writes about current racing events, Thoroughbred history and preservation of historic racing sites. Growing up in...

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