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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Trainer Chad Brown will send out three fillies against a wide-open field built for Thursday’s 12th running of the $120,000 Riskaverse, a 1-mile event over the Saratoga Race Course inner turf for sophomore fillies who have not won a stakes at one mile or over.
Brown captured the Riskaverse with subsequent Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Dayatthespa (2012) and with Catch a Bid (2019).
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Peter Brant’s Rastafara will look to defeat winners for the first time. After 2 on-the-board efforts, the daughter of Shamardal graduated at third asking against impressive next-out winner Baby Blythe on July 24 going the Riskaverse distance over Saratoga’s inner turf.
“She ran really well and finally broke though and got her maiden broken last time,” Brown said. “We’ve always thought a lot of her. She’ll have to step it up again, but it seems like the right spot for her.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. will seek a fourth Riskaverse conquest when piloting Rastafara from post 7.
Minaun and Amy C will attempt to make amends after finishing a respective fifth and sixth in the Lake George (G3) on July 23 at the Spa, which was won by the Brown-trained Technical Analysis.
Owned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Iris Smith Stablem, and Rigney Racing, Minaun was 4 lengths back in upper stretch racing three-wide but finished 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner last out. A winner of the Marble Hill (G3) last July at The Curragh, the Irish-bred daughter of Zoffany won her first start for Brown off a 9-month respite going 1 mile over the Widener tur course at Belmont Park on April 30 ahead of a close second in the Wild Applause on June 26 at Belmont.
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. picks up the mount from post 11.
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Robert V. LaPenta’s Amy C, a British-bred daughter of Charming Thought, won her North American debut on June 25 at Belmont Park before finishing sixth as the second choice in the Lake George.
Jockey Manny Franco will ride from post 9.
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Chiefswood Stables’ Third Draft makes her stakes debut off a sharp triumph in an allowance optional claiming tilt over the inner turf for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
The gray or roan daughter of multiple champion-producing sire Curlin, out of Ontario-bred stakes-winning Malibu Moon mare Original Script, defeated a group of winners last out that included graded stakes-placed Magisterium and Amalfi Princess. She trailed the eight-horse field down the backstretch and made a sweeping wide move in upper stretch to get her nose on the wire in the final jumps.
After finishing behind subsequent stakes winners Technical Analysis and Munnyfor Ro at maiden level, fifth time was the charm for Third Draft in a 1 1/16-mile maiden event on May 8 over the Widener turf at Belmont Park.
“She’s been pretty consistent and I’ve liked her races,” said McGaughey, who won the 2016 Riskaverse with On Leave. “Her last 2 have been really good and I’m looking forward to running her in the Riskaverse. She wants to run farther than a mile, so hopefully this can set her up for something later on.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz retains the mount from post 4.
Hoolie Racing Stable and Madaket Stable’s Hit the Woah will try to regain winning form for trainer Christophe Clement. The black type-earning daughter of Vancouver was a 1 1/4-length winner of an off-the-turf maiden tilt on November 13 at Aqueduct, where she defeated next-out winners Amalfi Princess and Into Vanishing.
Although winless in 2 starts on grass, Hit the Woah made good showings both times when third in the Sanibel Island on March 27 at Gulfstream Park and seventh beaten 1 3/4 lengths to stablemate Bye Bye in the Soaring Softly (G3) on May 15 at Belmont.
She enters from an off-the-board effort in a main track allowance at Parx on June 30.
“She’s in very good form and training forwardly,” Clement said. “Last time, we tried the dirt and that didn’t work. At the moment, this is the right spot for her.”
Jockey Joel Rosario will ride from post 8.
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Trainer Brendan Walsh will send out Keeper of Time for her North American debut. The Bradley Thoroughbreds-owned daughter of Mehmas was a last out 80/1 upset winner of the 1000 Guineas Trial (G3) on April 11 at Leopardstown.
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione will ride Keeper of Time from post 2.
Completing the field are Magisterium (post 1, Dylan Davis), Stand By You (post 3, Javier Castellano), Triple Digit (post 5, Jose Lezcano), Designer Ready (post 6, Junior Alvarado), and Love and Money (post 10, Luis Saez).
The Riskaverse is carded as race 9 on Thursday’s 10-race program. First post is 1:05 PM.
The Riskaverse pays homage to Fox Ridge Farm’s multiple Grade 1-winning mare trained by Patrick Kelly who became the first horse to score back-to-back triumphs in the Flower Bowl (2004-05). The talented daughter of prominent turf stallion Dynaformer retired with earnings in excess of $2 million and a significant resume which also included triumphs in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland and the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park, both in 2002.
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