A field of 10 will line up in Friday’s $150,000 Lake George (G3) at Saratoga including four fillies from the Chad Brown barn.
Brown has won the last two editions of the Lake George—with Selflessly in 2020 and Regal Glory in 2019. He also won the race in 2016 with Ancient Secret and Mrs McDougal in 2015.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the 7-2 morning line favorite Jouster. The filly was fourth in the Wonder Again (G3) at Belmont Park over good ground in her last outing. She won the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland back in April.
The cut back from 1 1/8 miles to a mile should suit the daughter of Noble Mission and jockey Luis Saez is back on board.
“She’s doing great,” Pletcher said. “I thought her breeze on Friday was exceptional. Backing up to a mile is more of what she wants. I think that the key with her is backing her up in distance.”
Among Brown’s quartet Minaun may have the best shot of giving the trainer the natural hat trick in the race. The filly came with a good late run to finish in the runner up spot in the Wild Applause at a mile at Belmont Park on June 26, beaten a half-length by Runaway Rumour.
2021 Wild Applause Replay
A live longshot is the Rusty Arnold trained Navratilova (12-1), who took the field gate to wire to win the Tepin at a mile at Churchill Downs on June 26. Her dam Center Court won the 2012 running of the Lake George.
“She just took progressive steps. She was a decent two-year-old,” Arnold said. “This year, we started her out at 5 1/2 [furlongs] and we wanted to stretch her out, and she did well at a mile. She’s matured with racing and got a little better.”
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The Lake George is the ninth race on the 10-race card on Friday.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Lake George G3 5:39 ET
10 Minaun 6-1
9 Navratilova 12-1
5 Jouster 7-2
3 Fluffy Socks 10-1
One of four in here sent out by Brown, this filly looks primed for a top effort in her third start since landing in the U.S. and coming back off the bench. Overseas she won the Marble Hill Stakes (G3) at Cork in Ireland in her second career start although she only had to beat three foes. She was a smart looking winner in her U.S. debut beating Alw-1 foes off a 9 ½ month break going six furlongs. Last out in the Wild Applause she was sent off as the favorite. She stalked the early pace while not being asked early, was in behind a wall of runners and Manny elected to take her about six wide, got through and finished up gamely to miss by just half-length. She is going to get some pace to run at and with a better trip she can turn the tables on Runaway Rumour. Brown has won this race in four of the last six years.
This filly set the early fractions and held on gamely to win the Tepin last out at Churchill Downs at a mile, beating Toby’s Heart by half length. The third-place finisher New Boss returned to win the Pea Patch at Ellis Park in her next outing on July 18 by six lengths. This gal has just two routes under her belt, two back missing by a neck and a head in the five furlong Mamzelle at Churchill Downs. She has shown an ability to come from off the pace so if the early pace is swift this gal should be able to take a good tracking role sitting just off the pace. She is getting better with each outing and her 12-1 morning line in this spot looks generous.
The Pletcher trainee set a slow early pace over good ground in the Wonder Again (G3) and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth, beaten three lengths going nine furlongs. She took the field gate to wire to win the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland two back and three back was well clear in the stretch and got run down late in a tough head loss in the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. The cut back to a mile will suit this filly. She has worked sharply since her last effort. She has a pair of wins over good ground and with rain falling through Wednesday there may still be some cut in the ground this afternoon.
WIN: Minaun to win at 4-1 or better.
EXACTA: 10 / 2,3,5,9 and 9,10 / 5,9,10