Saratoga Report #6

Keen Ice - TRAVERS STAKES (Grade I) - 08-29-15 - R11 - SAR - Photo credit: Mike Spector (Follow him on Twitter @SaratogaSlim)

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: KEEN ICE – The mystique of Saratoga lives on…the Graveyard of Champions claimed another victim on Saturday with the help of an improving horse in Keen Ice.  There is no doubt Frosted helped Keen Ice by pushing American Pharoah throughout the race, but not enough credit is being given to Keen Ice who ran a terrific race with a nicely timed ride by Javier Castellano.  He’ll never be America’s favorite race horse, but even the biggest fans of American Pharoah (myself included) have to respect how much he’s improved and how well he ran.  Trainer Dale Romans had the quote of the year after the race.  When asked how he would celebrate the big win, he replied “Bourbon and Pizza!”  Well deserved Dale…

– 2nd Star: RUNHAPPY – This was easily the top performance of the weekend, and perhaps the entire Saratoga meet.  Runhappy came into the extremely tough King’s Bishop off of two allowance wins at smaller tracks, but ran a monstrous race on Saturday earning a 113 beyer speed figure and beating world class sprinter Private Zone’s final time in the Forego by almost a full second!!  The talented but troubled Runhappy had issues in the winter, but has found the right trainer now that has calmed him down and let his potential blossom.  After setting blazing opening fractions it looked like he would most likely back up to the rest of the field, but he simply kept going and ran them off their feet.  If he can duplicate this kind of performance over and over he is going to be a future superstar.

– 3rd Star: FLINTSHIRE – It’s crazy that a horse this good who put in such a devastating run in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer could only manage to get the third star, but that’s how good this weekend of racing was at Saratoga.  Flintshire has had several tough luck runner up efforts against the top horses in the world, but on Saturday he absolutely dominated his rivals while stamping himself as the likely favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Classic.  However, he’ll go to the Arc next to take on the world’s best before coming back to the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.  World class race horse who showed he can win a big one.

Flop of the Week

DAME DOROTHY – After having such a promising year, Dame Dorothy was for the most part a no show in the Grade 1 Prioress last Saturday.  She seemed to be rank up the back stretch, and had nothing down the lane to finish close to last.  Did she bounce, or has she hit the downside of the Pletcher progression?

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Chad Brown – 30 1. Irad Ortiz Jr. – 54
2. Todd Pletcher – 26 2. Javier Castellano – 44
3. Christophe Clement – 14 3. John Velazquez – 40
4. Rudy Rodriguea – 12 4. Luis Saez – 30
4. William Mott – 12 4. Jose Ortiz – 30
6. Kiaran McLaughlin – 11 6. Joel Rosario – 21
7. George Weaver – 10 7. Junior Alvarado – 19
8. David Jacobson- 9 8. Jose Lezcano – 15
8. Jeramiah Englehart – 9 9. Kendrick Carmouche – 13

Preview to Next Week

Wed., Sep. 2 With Anticipation II $200,000 2YO 1 1/16 (Turf)
Thu., Sep. 3 P. G. Johnson $100,000 F2YO 1 1/16 (Turf)
Fri., Sep. 4 Evan Shipman (NYB) $100,000 3&UP 1 1/8 (Dirt)
Sat., Sep. 5 Glens Falls III $200,000 F&M 3&UP 1 3/8 (Turf)
Sat., Sep. 5 Saranac III $300,000 3YO 1 1/8 (Turf)
Sat., Sep. 5 Woodward I $600,000 3&UP 1 1/8 (Dirt)
Sat., Sep. 5 Spinaway I $350,000 F2YO 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
Sun., Sep. 6 Prioress II $300,000 F3YO 6 Furlongs (Dirt)
Mon., Sep. 7 Hopeful I $350,000 2YO 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
Mon., Sep. 7 Bernard Baruch Handicap II $250,000 3&UP 1 1/16 (Turf)
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