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Aaron previews the 2022 NYSS Cab Calloway Stakes at Saratoga, then gives his top picks and longshots. Dakota Gold could return to his winning ways while returning to a track over which he’s already a proven star. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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The track press release:
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Dakota Gold tops a field of 10 in Wednesday’s $150,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a one-mile inner turf test for eligible state-sired sophomores, at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Danny Gargan, Dakota Gold will look to make his fourth career trip to the winner’s circle and his second at Saratoga. The son of Freud made his first start a winning one last summer at the Spa and followed with a win in the Nownownow in September at Monmouth Park. He capped off his juvenile season with a close fifth-place finish as the mutuel favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar November 5.
Most recently, Dakota Gold was seen finishing second, by a nose, in the Rick Violette on July 21 at Saratoga, a performance that left his conditioner proud of the progress his colt has made while also acknowledging the wide trip his horse endured throughout the race.
“We’re really happy with him,” said Gargan. “Unfortunately, the other day he didn’t get the best of trips.”
After receiving the winter and most of the spring off, Dakota Gold returned fresh and won the $150,000 NYSSS Spectacular Bid at Belmont Park on June 19 ahead of his last-out effort.
“He’s bigger and stronger this year than last year,” said Gargan. “You can’t really fault the season he’s had this year. He’s got a win and got beat a nose the other day.”
Despite the nose defeat, Dakota Gold still earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest of his career, and the highest last-out speed figure in the field.
Dakota Gold breezed a half-mile over the Oklahoma dirt training track in 49.12 seconds August 10, a workout that left his conditioner feeling confident entering Wednesday’s race.
“He worked really well,” said Gargan. “He’s not a monster workhorse. We were shooting for 49 or 50 [seconds] and that’s all we needed.”
Dakota Gold has banked $492,500 for his connections and is 3-1-0 in 5 starts.
Bred in New York by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Ron Bowden, Dakota Gold was an $83,000 purchase as a weanling from the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall Mixed Sale.
Assigned a field-high 124 pounds, six more than each of his nine rivals, Dakota will again have the services of Saratoga’s leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 8.
Stephen Crow’s Iron Horse Stables’ Marinara Sauced will look to return to his winning ways after a fifth-place finish in state-bred allowance company on July 16 at the Spa. The stakes-placed gelded son of Laoban was third in the NYSSS Spectacular Bid at Belmont, where he finished behind returning rival Dakota Gold.
Conditioned by the meet’s leading trainer Chad Brown, Marinara Sauced impressed on debut in May when he closed from last-of-10 and 20-lengths off the leaders while traveling seven-wide down the lane going seven-furlongs over yielding Belmont turf.
Manuel Franco, the rider for all three career starts, pilots again from post 5.
Bergen Stables’ Tetragrammaton, haltered for just $16,000 July 30 at Monmouth, will make an immediate step up into stakes company out of a winning effort going one mile on the turf in gate-to-wire fashion. New conditioner Kent Sweezey and owner Bergen Stables will ship the son of War Dancer to Saratoga to make his New York debut.
Tetragrammaton will leave post 1 under Kendrick Carmouche.
Go-To-Toga Racing’s homebred Stop the Spread, the most experienced horse in the field with nine starts, also exits the Rick Violette where he was the pacesetter down the backside before tiring at the stretch call and fading to last-of-five. He still earned a career-best 70 Beyer for the effort.
The son of Daaher, who broke his maiden in October at Finger Lakes for his lone career win, will leave post 7 with Trevor McCarthy aboard.
Rounding out the field are Cagney [post 2, Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr.], Shinsun [post 3, Luis Saez], Born Dancer [post 4, Flavien Prat], Silent Running [post 6, Javier Castellano], He’s Got It [post 9, Jose Lezcano], and Barrel of Quests [post 10, Jose Ortiz].
The NYSSS Cab Calloway is slated as Race 9 on Wednesday’s 10-race program, which also features the Grade 1, $150,000 Jonathan Sheppard in Race 1. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
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