Close menu
Robin Sparkles Headlines Smart N Fancy
Robin Sparkles (Credit: NYRA)

Robin Sparkles Headlines Smart N Fancy

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Michael Schrader’s New York-bred Robin Sparkles leads a compact field in Saturday’s $120,000 Smart N Fancy, a 5 1/2-furlong Mellon turf sprint for older fillies and mares, at Saratoga Race Course.

The ninth running of the Smart N Fancy, slated as race 3, is 1 of 3 stakes on a lucrative card that includes the $200,000 Lake Placid (G2) for sophomore fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf in race 9 and the $600,000 Alabama (G1) at 10 furlongs for sophomore fillies in race 10. First post is 1:05 PM Eastern.

Full Card Plays Available Now For The Spa

There’s a reason we’re the #1 trusted source for premium racing picks & info.

Trained by Bruce Brown, Robin Sparkles has won races at all 3 NYRA tracks, including a state-bred maiden score at the Spa last summer under returning pilot Jose Ortiz.

The 4-year-old Elusive Quality bay, bred in the Empire State by Hibiscus Stables, won 4 of 6 starts in a stellar sophomore campaign, including open allowance wins in turf sprints at Belmont Park in September and Aqueduct Racetrack in November.

Robin Sparkles has continued her consistent form in 2021, boasting a perfect in-the-money record of 4-2-1-1 including an off-the-turf score in the Mount Vernon in May at Belmont ahead of a sharp front-running allowance score traveling 6 furlongs in an open company optional claimer on June 24 over firm turf at Belmont.

Last out, the popular bay set a swift tempo in the 5 1/2-furlong Caress (G3) on the Spa turf but faded to third in a race won by well-regarded Caravel.

“I’m not taking anything away from the filly that won, but she seems to like it a little firmer than that,” said Brown of the Caress effort. “I didn’t think she was handling the turf as good as she did at Belmont.”

Watch the latest episode of “Dr. Miranda Previews” for Dr. Miranda’s Best Bets in the Alabama!

Robin Sparkles posted a 1/2-mile breeze in 49.20 seconds on August 13 over the Oklahoma dirt training track.

“Jose Ortiz breezed her and she went great,” Brown said. “It was just by herself and it was very easy. It was exactly what we wanted.”

Robin Sparkles will emerge from the inside post.

Holly Hill Stables’ Pacific Gale, a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt, will make her turf debut for trainer John Kimmel after making her first 32 starts on the main track dating to 2015.

The 6-year-old Flat Out bay enjoyed a prosperous winter in Florida, capturing the Inside Information (G2) in January and Hurricane Bertie (G3) in March, both at Gulfstream Park. She has made her last 3 starts in graded stakes sprints, finishing third in the Vagrancy (G3) in May and fourth in the Bed o’ Roses (G3) in June, both at Belmont, ahead of a fifth-place effort last out in the Princess Rooney (G2) on July 3 at Gulfstream.

Pacific Gale posted her last 2 works on the Oklahoma training turf, including a 1/2-mile breeze in 48.80 Sunday under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, who has the call on Saturday.

“She’s a pretty good mover on either surface. It was a very nice, comfortable 1/2-mile. She’s done well both times she’s breezed on turf,” Kimmel said. “I wouldn’t want to run her on soft ground, but she could go on a sloppy dirt course.”

Kimmel said he’s hopeful a swift pace will develop in front of Pacific Gale, who prefers to settle and make one run.

“That’s the thought. She’ll have some horses to sit behind,” Kimmel said.

Velazquez will guide Pacific Gale from post 5.

Jim and Susan Hill’s New York-bred Lead Guitar, a 5-year-old daughter of Maclean’s Music, won 5 of 7 starts last year including a first career stakes score in the Autumn Days at 6 furlongs on the Aqueduct turf.

Lead Guitar was declared a non-starter in her seasonal debut in the Royal North (G2), a 6-furlong turf sprint at Woodbine where she broke behind the field and crossed the wire in seventh.

Bred in New York by Windylea Farm, Luis Saez has the call from post 2.

Rounding out the field are Jay Oringer, Jack Bick, Al Bianchi Racing, Adam Bayroff, and Mike Maturo’s Piedi Bianchi (post 4, Tyler Gaffalione), who is graded stakes-placed on turf and dirt for trainer Carlos Martin; and Hydra (post 3, Manny Franco), a 5-year-old Kantharos mare in search of her first turf win for trainer Kelly Rubley and owner Darryl E. Abramowitz.

Join the Inner Circle

Sign up for exclusive 10% discount on orders, plus be the first to access our daily free and premium horse racing picks, articles, podcasts, and more!

Sign Up