Coronation Cup at Saratoga Top Heavy With Speed

A speed-laden group lines up in the Coronation Cup at Saratoga on Wednesday (photo credit © Cheryl Quigley |

A field of nine is likely to line up in Wednesday’s feature at Saratoga, the $100,00 Coronation Cu, and the race is top heavy with early speed types.

Ten were entered for the race but Sweetmarys Success is a main track only entrant and two others, Hot Squeeze and Isabele are also entered in tomorrow’s third race and could scratch.

The Michael Trombetta trainee Recoupe is the 7-2 morning line favorite and is coming off a gate to wire score against second level optional claimers at Penn National on July 19. The filly is perfect in three starts on turf but gets a class test here in her stakes debut.

Elena Strikes is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line for trainer Todd Pletcher, who leads in the standings with 10 winners from his first 27 starters (37%) and 10 of his other starters finished either second or third.

The filly went gate to wire to beat second level optional claimers on the main track at Belmont Park and makes her turf debut. Her two previous wins came from sitting off the pace and with the outside draw she should get a good trip.

We are 10 days into the 40-day meeting at the Spa and Pletcher looks well on his way to his 11th training title. Of his 10 wins four were with maidens, two claiming traces, a pair of first level allowance races, and he won the Schuylerville (G2) with Fashion Alert and the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) with Stopchargingmaria. Eight of his wins have come on the main track, with two turf wins.

There is a four-way tie for second in the trainer standings, with Mike Maker, Bill Mott, George Weaver and Tony Dutrow.

Chad Brown, who finished second behind Pletcher the last two summers, is off to a slow start at the meeting with just three winners form his first 24 starters.

Javier Castellano is looking to defend his riding title and has picked up 13 wins over the first 10 days of the meeting to lead the jockey standings. He is one ahead of John Velazquez and three ahead of Joe Ortiz.

Let’s head out to Saratoga for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:


Saratoga Race 9 The Coronation Cup (4:42 ET)   

10 Elena Strikes   4-1

5 Scatcapade   5-1

3 Burn Control   6-1        

7 Stars Above Me   5-1

Analysis: Elena Strikes is coming off a gate to wire score against Alw-2 foes on the main track at Belmont Park. The filly makes her turf debut here for the Pletcher barn that is 14% winners moving runners from dirt to turf, on the low side considering the barn’s numbers in most other categories.

The filly is out of the dirt stakes winner Ticket to Houston ($147,150 ) who has dropped eight winners including one turf winner and a couple of stakes winners, top earner Runway Model ($725,598). With this race top heavy with early speed Johnny V. should get a good tracking trip from just off the pace here and the filly has shown an ability to rate.

Scatcapade stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a fourth place finish going seven furlongs on the turf against Alw-1 foes. Two back going six furlongs she made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot behind Go West Marie, who won the Cal bred Fleet Treat at Del Mar on July 26.

The cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs is a concern and her trainer Clement noted that this distance may be too short for her, but she will get a great pace set up and should be rolling late.

Burn Control is perfect in two starts on dirt and makes her turf debut here for the DeMasi barn. She crushed maidens in her debut at Philly and then dueled through sharp early fractions an after giving up the lead came back to beat Alw-1 foes in her last outing.

She has a solid turf pedigree, by Bernstein out of a Pivotal mare that has dropped one turf winner. The barn is showing just a 1 for 31 mark moving runners from dirt to turf. The filly has some serious early zip and looks as if she may get overlooked on the tote here.


WIN: #10 to win at 3-1 or better.

EX: 5,10 / 3,5,7,10

TRI: 5,10 / 3,5,7,10 / 3,5,6,7,10


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