Seven fillies and mares line up Sunday in the $200,000 Shuvee (G3) at Saratoga led by a trio of contenders sent out by trainer Chad Brown.
Brown will saddle the 2-1 morning line favorite Dunbar Road, who was third in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and won the 2019 Alabama (G1) over the Saratoga main track. She came back of the layoff and was fifth in the La Troien (G1) in her first start of 2021. Brown gives Irad Ortiz Jr. a leg up.
Royal Flag (5-2) is coming off a head loss in the Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland on April 16, beaten by Bonnie South. She ran second to Letruska in last year’s edition of this race. Joel Rosario has the return call.
Gold Spirit (8-1) will be the longest price of the Brown trio. The filly makes her U.S. debut after winning 3 of 13 starts in Chile including the Alberto Solari Magnasco (G1) last November.
“All three horses are doing well. They’re coming off layoffs of some sort, so it’s a bit of an obstacle to overcome, but they’re all training well,” Brown said. “I’ve gotten to know Gold Spirit pretty well over the past couple of months and she seems like a quality horse. Dunbar Road ended up having a throat infection that we’ve been working on and it’s good now. I’ve been very pleased with her last few works.”
Royal Flag Runs Second in Doubledogdare
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott sends out a pair of runners in Antoinette (4-1) and Horologist (8-1). Mott saddled the 2019 Shuvee winner Golden Award.
Antoinette is coming off a runner up finish to Letruska in the Fleur De Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs. Horologist has not run her best in her last two starts after winning the Top Flight Invitational at Aqueduct back in April coming off a layoff.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Shuvee G3 5:39 ET
7 Royal Flag 5-2
1 Horologist 8-1
4 Dunbar Road 2-1
5 Antoinette 4-1
This mare returns off a three-month break for Brown who sends out three in here. This mare stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to just miss by a head in the Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland. That outing was off a 5 1/2-month break. The winner was Bonnie South who came back to run second in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and then as the beaten chalk when fifth in the Delaware Handicap (G2) in her most recent start. Our top pick won the Turnback the Alarm ‘Cap (G3) two back at today’s nine-furlong distance. She has earned consistent numbers over her seven starts, all Beyers between 90 and 95. She has worked well since her last effort and owns a solid pace profile throughout. She should get an honest pace in front of her and this race looks as if it sets up for her. She broke her maiden in the mid and is bred top and bottom to handle a wet track which we might get today.
The Mott trainee came back off a five-month layoff three back by winning the Top Flight but then came up short in her last two starts, a fourth in the Allaire DuPont (G3) at Pimlico and a fifth last out at Thistledown as the beaten chalk in the Lady Jacqueline which was won by Crystal Ball. This Mott trainee won 2 of 8 last year and ran a pair of triple digit Beyers including a win in the Beldame (G2) at Belmont Park last October. After going off at short prices in her last three starts she is going to offer some value here and would be no surprise to see her bounce back with a better effort here.
Trained by Chad Brown, she came off a 5 1/2-month break with a fifth-place finish in the La Troien (G1) at Churchill Downs, a tough spot to come back off the bench. The winner was Shedaresthedevil who was third in the Ogden Phipps next out. The runner up Envoutante came back to win the Shawnee in her next start, then was third in the Fleur De Lis (G1). The mare has had some throat issues but has worked well since her last outing and looks likely to get back on track here. She won the 2019 Alabama (G1) over the main track here. She also is perfect in two trips on wet tracks. The main knock is the price, as the 2-1 morning line seems light facing a solid group here.
WIN: Royal Flag to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 7 / 1,4,5 and 1,7 / 1,4,7