Seven will go to the post in Friday’s $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) led by the Chad Brown trained Camelot Kitten, the 8-5 morning line favorite.
Brown is seeking his third in in the Hall of Fame. The trainer won with Big Blue Kitten in 2011 and last year with Takeover Target.
Camelot Kitten had a two race winning streak snapped when fourth in the Belmont Derby (G1) last out at 1 ¼ miles. The son of Kitten’s joy and full brother to multiple graded stakes winner Bobby’s Kitten won the Pennine Ridge (G3) and American Turf (G2) in his two previous starts.
“He’s a very consistent horse who has had a very good season, particular since we’ve put the blinkers on him [for the American Turf],” Brown said of Camelot Kitten. “I thought he ran well in the Belmont Derby, it just proved to be a little far for him. He came out of the race in good shape and hopefully by cutting him back, he’ll go back to his winning ways.”
Airoforce, who missed winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) by a neck last fall is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. He was 10th in the Belmont Derby but beaten just three lengths. Trainer Mark Casse will take the blinkers off and give jockey Julian Leparoux a leg up.
The one to beat may be Strike Midnight, who is coming off a runner up finish in the Manilla at a mile last out at Belmont Park. The Leah Gyamarti trainee is 9-2 on the morning line and Javier Castellano will ride the son of Smart Strike for the first time.
Coming up on Saturday at the Spa is the $1.25 million Whitney (G1), one of five stakes on the card. Frosted, winner of the Met Mile (G1) in his last outing is the morning line favorite.
Saturday’s card also features the $100,000 De La Rose, $100,000 Lure, $200,000 Waya (G3) and the $500,000 Test (G1).
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Let’s head out to the Spa for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Hall of Fame G2 (Post time 5:40 ET)
#4 Strike Midnight 9-2
#9 Camelot Kitten 8-5
#5 Isotherm 4-1
#1 Giant Run 6-1
Analysis: Strike Midnight gets some extra ground here and looks primed for a top effort as he makes his third start off the layoff here for the Leah Gyamarti barn. The colt beat Alw-1 optional claimers off a seven-month layoff and then ran a good second in the Manila second off the bench. The colt has put in a couple of sharp drills since his last outing and picks up Castellano. He is bred to be a good one, three of his sibs stakes winners, top earner Lead Story ($842,031).
Camelot Kitten is sent out by the Brown barn and cuts back from 1 1/4 miles where the colt did not have enough punch left late in a fourth place finish in the Belmont Derby (G1), beaten 1 1/2 lengths. He won photos two and three back winning the Pennine Ridge (G3) and the American Turf (G2). It looks as if he is going to get enough pace to run at but his price is going to be on the short side. He is a full brother to $1.3 million earner Bobby’s Kitten.
Isotherm is making his first start since January where just missed winning the Dania Beach by a head off a two-month break. The colt won the Pilgrim (G3) last fall and then had a rough trip in a 13th place finish in the Breeders Cup Juvenile (G1). Solid works on the morning tab for the Weaver barn that is 10% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.
WIN: #4 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 4,9 / 1,4,5,9
TRI: 4,9 / 1,4,5,9 / 1,4,5,6,9
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