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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Harrell Ventures’ Halladay streaks into town off of back-to-back career-best efforts as he makes his first graded stakes appearance in Sunday’s $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) at Saratoga.
The Bernard Baruch is a 1 1/16-mile inner turf route for horses 4 and up. This year’s edition attracted six entries and has a local post time of 5:46 PM Eastern while slated as the penultimate event on Sunday’s 10-race card.
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Here is a look at the full field for the Bernard Baruch:
1. Seismic Wave 6/1 – At his best, he has proven to be a threat from off the pace while facing stakes foes in his past 11 starts. With a clean trip and a sharp early pace, his third start of 2020 could give him his first victory of the calendar year, but the distance might be a touch too much for him – 2 of his 3 wins came going 1 mile.
2. Good Governance 9/5 – The morning line favorite makes his second attempt at the graded stakes level after missing last August’s Saranac Stakes (G3) by a neck. The lightly-raced Chad Brown trainee broke his maiden on debut while going a mile on the local inner turf and defeated allowance rivals at Belmont Park in his 2020 debut last month.
3. Somelikeithotbrown 4/1 – The New York-bred broke his maiden while going 1 1/8 miles over the local outer turf and has shown a great affinity for both turf and synthetic surfaces. While that inaugural victory represents his only grass success, he was within 1 length of winning the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and nearly won the Fort Marcy Stakes (G2) in his return from a decent layoff.
4. Mr Dumas 12/1 – The longest shot on the board must demonstrate that he can win a turf race not held at Churchill Downs, the site of all 3 of his lawn victories (including the 2019 Commonwealth Turf [G3]). He faces one of the toughest fields of his 11-race career, but trainer Mike Maker is always dangerous on turf (17% winners from over 1,100 runners since 2019) and his most recent work was a sharp 5-furlong move in 59 seconds flat.
5. Olympico 9/2 – The “other” Brown runner won his North American debut in the 2019 Fort Marcy Stakes (G3) but failed to repeat in 4 subsequent starts, including finishing a distant fifth in last year’s Bernard Baruch. Unraced since last October, he is a threat off the bench (Brown wins at 29% after similar layoffs) and new jockey Joel Rosario should be a perfect match for this gelding’s late running style.
6. Halladay 2/1 – He earned triple-digit Beyer speed figures in his past 2 starts, first when defeating optional claimers while going 1 mile, then in the Sunshine Forever Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Both wins came while running on the front end at Gulfstream Park, whereas Saratoga’s turf has played largely against early speed horses, but he defeated three next-out graded stakes winners in the Sunshine Forever and must be respected despite any biases.
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