We are counting down the racing days left until the meet is over. Before we get to the final Saratoga weekend of 2019, Thursday’s featured race is the 15th running of the P. G. Johnson Stakes for juvenile turf fillies. One of my best memories last year was watching Javier Castellano dive down on the rail and bring Dogtag home to victory. This year’s edition should provide just as much excitement, but we also have three maiden special weight (MSW) races on hand as well.
Saratoga Meet Statistics (7/31 thru 8/25):
|Races||Top 4 Wins||Top 4 Exactas||Top 4 Trifectas||Top 4 Supers|
Race 1: $ 78,000 MSW for New-York-bred 2-year-old fillies going 6 furlongs on the turf
Christophe Clement is back at it again with a first timer on the turf. #5 Irish Danzing (4/1) makes her debut after training well down at Belmont Park. Clement is well-known for his prowess on the turf and his runners tend to make an impact at first asking. Her sire, Danza, was a very successful dirt horse who finished in the money in all of his five starts. Clement and Irad Ortiz, Jr., combine to win 25% of the time and make one of the deadliest combinations in North America.
#4 More Glitter (2/1) will benefit from Todd Pletcher teaming up with John Velazquez. At the beginning of the meet, these two struggled to make much of an impact, but they seem to have found their best form together. This More Than Ready filly was purchased for $380,000 in 2018. More Than Ready won over $1 million in his career and was a very good sprinter as well.
Dermot Magner has only sent nine prior runners to the track at Saratoga before #1 Tequila Fog (6/1) debuts. Like Irish Danzing, she has been training down at Belmont Park and recently went :47.66 going 4 furlongs. The most enticing thing about this filly is that she will have Chris Landeros aboard. Landeros is good on horses who have early speed and I think this filly certainly has that quality.
The last time we saw #2 Aubrey Tate (9/2), she was on the losing end of an early tussle out of the gate. She managed to finish fourth but never really gained ground as she passed tired horses. The winner was Risky Mischief, who in my opinion has been the most impressive 2-year-old at the meet. At 3/5, Risky Mischief won by over 7 lengths. This field doesn’t possess a first timer of that quality, so expect Aubrey Tate to fare much better here.
Ricky’s Picks: 5-4-1-2