Trainer Chad Brown sends out a pair of top contenders in Sunday’s $1 million Saratoga Derby looking for redemption after coming up short in the Belmont Derby.
Digital Age (9-2) and Rockemperor took the worst of it at the post position draw for the Belmont Derby, breaking from the 13 and 14 posts respectively and they both drew better for this afternoon’s race in which six return including 20-1 longshot winner Henley’s Joy.
“He’s doing good,” Henley Joy’s trainer Mike Maker said. “I think maybe the distance helped him improve. He had some pretty rough trips. Last time, he finally got a clean trip and got to prove it.”
Rockemperor was last early and came with a good late run to finish third while his stablemate Digital Age was off near the back of the pack and made a mild late run to finish fourth.
The race is the second leg of the Turf Triple which will conclude with the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational at 1 ½ miles on September 7 at Belmont Park.
The co-feature on Sunday’s card is the $200,000 Adirondack (G2) for juvenile fillies which drew a field of seven. The Bill Mott trained Frank’s Rockette, an 8 ¾ length maiden winner in her debut is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Also on the card are the $200,000 Waya (G3) for fillies and mares going 1 ½ miles on turf and the rescheduled $100,000 John Morrissey for state bred three-year-olds and upward with a field of seven going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Saratoga Derby Invitational Post time 5:48 ET
8 Digital Age 9-2
4 Rockemperor 7-2
10 Mohawk 10-1
9 Seismic Wave 6-1
The Brown trainee drew a tough post in the Belmont Derby (G1), settled in along the inside at the rear of the field and came with a four-wide run to rally for fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths for the top spot. The colt had won his first three career starts, taking the Columbia in his stakes debut at Tampa Bay Downs and then winning the American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs. He draws better today and should get some pace in front of him. He has a solid turf pedigree, by Invincible Spirit and the first foal to race out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare. He has just four starts under his belt and looks as if he still has some upside.
This colt is also sent out by Brown, had a tough post in the Belmont Derby and came with a good late rally to finish third in his U.S. debut and first start for the barn. Previously trained by Simone Brogi overseas, this guy was sixth in the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) at Chantilly and missed in the Prix la Force (G3) three back by just a neck. The colt has had two good morning works since his last outing and looks likely to move forward off his U.S. debut. The colt is by Holy Roman Emperor out of a stakes placed Muhtathir mare. The colt gives Brown a strong one-two punch in this spot.
The son of Galileo makes his U.S. debut here for the O’Brien barn. The colt won the Meld Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown going nine furlongs in his last outing. He won the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) last September at Newmarket. The colt appears to be the best shot of the two O’Brien runners, Cape of Good Hope coming up short in an eighth-place finish in the Belmont Derby. The colt is out of the stakes winner Empowering ($151,953).
WIN: Digital Age to win at 4-1 or better.
EXACTA: 4,8 / 4,8,9,10
TRIFECTA: 4,8 / 4,8,9,10 / 3,4,8,9,10