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Mahony Preview: Maven Faces Seasoned Rivals
Maven winning at Keeneland in July (Credit: Coady Photography)

Mahony Preview: Maven Faces Seasoned Rivals

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Richard Ravin’s Maven makes his first American stakes appearance as the new shooter against a group of seasoned, familiar rivals in Wednesday’s $85,000 Mahony Stakes at Saratoga.

The Mahony is a 5 1/2-furlong outer turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. This year’s edition is the seventh event on a nine-race card with a local post time of 4:12 PM.

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Here is a look at the full field for the Mahony:

1. Buy Land and See 8/1 – He was an easy winner last time out, defeating fellow Pennsylvania-breds in a turf route allowance while making his first start after nine months on the bench. His current 3-race win streak includes winning the Awad Stakes and he has the talent and versatility to contend.

2. Flap Jack 12/1 – He just missed second by a neck and a head in the Quick Call Stakes over this course and distance last month, his first attempt in a turf sprint. He’s continued to work well since that effort, and with a little bit of racing luck, he could surprise a lot of bettors at a square price.

3. Competitive Saint 12/1 – He takes his first shot at stakes company after fighting gamely between horses to win an allowance event over this course and distance. Jockey Luis Saez, aboard that day, rides back for trainer George Weaver; the two have won 8 of their past 31 mounts together (26%).

4. Power Up Paynter 30/1 – After a pair of decent turf sprint attempts as a juvenile, he enjoyed much greater success in June, defeating fellow New York-breds in a Belmont Park allowance. Though unable to repeat that last time out over this course, trainer Linda Rice is a sharp 19% in turf sprints.

5. Old Chestnut 12/1 – He’s earned back-to-back career-best Beyer speed figures of 83 and 84 for hitting the board in the Sir Cat Stakes and the Quick Call, respectively. His running style in 2020 has been to rally from off the pace, so against this field with plenty of early speed on paper, watch out.

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6. Island Commish 15/1 – He cuts back to turf sprinting after failing to hold onto his early lead in his past 3 starts, all at 1 or 1 1/16 miles. He won January’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes (G3), his third straight victory, and recently fired a bullet best-of-48 4-furlong work in :47.60 over the training turf.

7. Cajun Casanova 30/1 – He changed tactics and successfully rallied from off the pace to win March’s Texas Glitter Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The rest of his form contains gate-to-wire attempts and jockey Kendrick Carmouche is known as an aggressive rider, so expect him to be on the early lead.

8. Maven 5/2 – After becoming the first North American winner for 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, he shipped to France to win the Prix du Bois (G3). He returned from over 11 months away to win his 2020 debut at Keeneland last month and still has room to improve here.

9. Jack and Noah 4/1 – He was a gate-to-wire winner in the Sir Cat but failed to hold on a month later in the Quick Call after breaking poorly and trying to set a lightning-quick opening pace. He’ll need to break better if he wants to give Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse his first W of the Saratoga meet.

10. Turned Aside 2/1 – The morning line favorite enters as the Quick Call victor over several of these foes last time out and has improved his Beyer speed figure in each of his past 4 starts. Another American Pharoah son, he’s out of a War Front mare and is thus bred top to bottom for this race.

11. Sky of Hook 8/1 (Main Track Only) – He’ll only make the gate if the race is taken off of the turf, but with Saratoga’s weather patterns, who knows what will happen? He won his first 2 career starts, including the Violette Stakes against his fellow New York-breds over a sloppy Saratoga surface.

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