Saratoga Report #4: Rain Soaks Weekend Racing

Gunnevera wins G2 Saratoga Special - NYRA

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: GUNNEVERA – The pace of the Saratoga Special Stakes was scorching up front as four of the five horses in the field battled it out for the lead…as the crafty Gunnevera fell well off the pace.  That move by Javier Castellano turned out to be a winning one, as the race fell apart and Gunnevera came flying to catch Recruiting Ready right at the wire to take home the victory.  The loss for Recruiting Ready makes two races in a row where he looked home free before being caught late in the race.  Gunnevera has now won two in a row as he came into this race off a maiden special weight win at Gulfstream Park.  He’s now being pointed to the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes to end the meet.

– 2nd Star: STALLWALKIN’ DUDE – After three poor efforts in a row leading up to Friday’s Tale of the Cat Stakes confidence was low in Stallwalkin’ Dude, but he showed he still has plenty left in the tank with a nice one and a half length win.  He sat off what ended up being a very hot pace, and had plenty of run as the front runners slowed down in the stretch.  Jacobson has been known to take a shot with this horse, so he could show up in a bigger stakes next time out.

– 3rd Star: TURCO BRAVO – Wednesday’s Birdstone Stakes was billed as a two horse race between Kid Cruz and Turco Bravo, but it was Turco Bravo who ran a big race while Kid Cruz struggled.  Last year Turco Bravo finished second in this same race so it’s obvious the farther he goes the better he will get.  He’s never going to be a top notch horse in the older division going normal distances, but at a mile and half or longer he’s tough to beat.  He’ll have to pick and choose his races though as there aren’t many races run at those long distances.

Flop of the Week

THE WEATHER – Saturday night many of the Saratoga visitors thought the apocalypse was happening as the town lost power a few times in a driving rainstorm.  The rain forced Saturday’s card to cancel after the first five races, and trees were damaged around town as a result of the storm later that evening.  Fortuantley mother nature cooperated on Sunday and racing resumed.

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Chad Brown – 23 1. Irad Ortiz Jr. – 31
1. Todd Pletcher – 17 2. Jose Ortiz – 27
3. Kiaran McLaughlin – 9 3. John Velazquez – 25
4. Mike Maker – 8 3. Javier Castellano – 25
4. Rudy Rodriguez – 8 5. Joel Rosario – 17
6. Jeramiah Englehart – 6 5. Luiz Saez – 17
6. David Jacobson – 6 7. Manuel Franco – 13
6. Bill Mott – 6 8. Jose Lezcano – 10
6. Jason Servis – 6 9. Ricardo Santana Jr. – 9

Preview to Next Week

Wednesday, Aug 17 Bolton Landing $100,000 F2YO Turf 5 1/2
Thursday, Aug 18 Union Avenue (NYB) $100,000 F&M 3&UP Dirt 6 1/2 Furlongs
Friday, Aug 19 Adirondack II $200,000 F2YO Dirt 6 1/2 Furlongs
Friday, Aug 19 Skidmore $100,000 2YO Turf 5 1/2
Saturday, Aug 20 Fourstardave Handicap I $500,000 3&UP Turf 1 Mile
Saturday, Aug 20 Troy $100,000 3&UP Turf 5 1/2
Saturday, Aug 20 Alabama I $600,000 F3YO Dirt 1 1/4
Sunday, Aug 21 Lake Placid II $300,000 F3YO Turf 1 1/8
Monday, Aug 22 Summer Colony $100,000 F&M 3&UP Dirt 1 1/8


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