Basin shortens up for new trainer in G2 Amsterdam

August 26, 2020

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jackpot Farm’s Basin is entered in a sprint for the first time since his juvenile campaign, making his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher in headlining a six-horse field in the six-furlong Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

The 28th running of the Amsterdam for sophomores is one of four graded stakes on the 11-race card, highlighted by the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer for 4-year-olds and up on the inner turf in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Keeneland. Also featured will be the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America’s Best Racing for 4-year-olds and up going seven furlongs, and the Grade 3, $100,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds competing at one mile on the inner turf.

After registering four breezes over the Saratoga main track since July, the Liam’s Map colt will be making his first start at the historic course since winning the Grade 1 Hopeful last September to cap his juvenile campaign.

Under Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, Basin started the year on the Triple Crown trail, running third in the Grade 2 Rebel to start his 3-year-old campaign in March at Oaklawn Park. He again ran on a sloppy and sealed track next out, running fourth in the Oaklawn Stakes in April.

Keeping at the two-turn 1 1/8-mile distance, Basin won his second career Grade 1 in a division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2, crossing the wire second, six lengths back of Charlatan, who was later disqualified from purse money.

A troubled trip that saw Basin bumped at the start resulted in a 10th-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Blue Grass last out on July 11 at Keeneland. He will now return to sprinting for the first time in five starts as a sophomore, picking up the services of jockey Jose Ortiz for the first time out of the inside post.

“He’s been training well and I’ve been pleased with his works,” Pletcher said. “We’ll see how he responds to the cutback in distance.”

Long Weekend will return to the site of his lone previous graded stakes start, making his first appearance of the year against graded caliber for trainer Tom Amoss. The ultra-consistent Majesticperection colt is 4-1-0 in six career starts, with his only off-the-board effort coming in his second start last year when sixth in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.

After getting six months off, Long Weekend won his first three starts to begin his 3-year-old campaign and placed second last out in the Gold Fever going six furlongs over a sloppy and sealed Belmont Park main track on July 10. The speedy Kentucky bred has served as the pacesetter in five of his six starts and tracked in second position in the Gold Fever despite what Amoss said was a disappointing break.

“There’s no secret to our game plan,” Amoss said. “He’s very, very fast out the gate and we’re going to try and use that speed. We were a little disappointed with how things turned out at Belmont with the track condition and not breaking well that day, which was very uncharacteristic of him. We thought he fought hard but was certainly compromised right at the start of the race. We’re looking to make amends for that.”

Jockey Luis Saez will pick up the mount in the Amsterdam for the first time and will break from post 3.

Liam’s Pride will look to bounce back after finishing last of 11 in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens on August 1, Whitney Day, at Saratoga. But the Liam’s Map colt notched a victory in the race prior, overcoming a sloppy and sealed track to win the six-furlong Gold Fever by a head on July 10 at Belmont Park.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Liam’s Pride was unraced as a juvenile but has already made nine starts this year with two wins, breaking his maiden at fourth asking in March at Oaklawn Park before his stakes win last month.

Owned by Tom Mansor, Richard Pushor, Robert Roy, Chadwick Calvert and Jerry Caroom, Liam’s Pride will return the services of jockey Dylan Davis for a third straight race, drawing the outermost post 6.

“He is a really cool horse that has a lot of fight to him,” O’Neill said. “He continues to train full of energy, and Dylan Davis has a been a great addition to him as well.”

Yaupon will make his stakes debut in attempting to start his career 3-for-3 after a debut win by a nose in June at Churchill Downs. Conditioned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Yaupon handled the Saratoga track well last month, besting allowance company by 3 ¾ lengths on July 18 to earn a field-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

Purchased for $225,000 at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sale, Yaupon, owned by William and Corrine Heiligbrodt, is a son of Uncle Mo and is looking to give Asmussen his fourth career Amsterdam victory after previously winning with Bwana Charlie [2004], Santana Strings [2005] and Holy Boss [2015].

Joel Rosario, aboard for his win last month, will ride again, breaking from post 2.

Rounding out the field is Premier Star, a last-out winner going six furlongs at Laurel Park on August 6, for trainer Michael Trombetta [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and Wondrwherecraigis, who was placed third in the Gold Fever in his previous start, for trainer Brittany Russell, drawing post 5 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard.

Shancelot wins the 2019 Amsterdam

The Amsterdam is carded as Race 7 with a post time of 4.32 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:10 p.m. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the 40-day summer meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, NYRA Bets is currently offering a $200 new member bonus in addition to a host of special weekly offers. The NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

Saratoga Entries for Saturday, August 29

https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/SAR082920USA-EQB.html

Press Release

Photo: Basin wins the 2019 Runhappy Hopeful at Saratoga. Credit: Skip Dickstein

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