Eleven three-year-old fillies will go to the post in the $120,000 Galway at Saratoga including a duo that could leave trainer Wesley Ward smiling.
Ward saddles Illegal Smile (9-2), who broke her maiden last November in the Stewart Manor at Aqueduct. Ward will also send out Wink (12-1), who set the early fractions in the Mamzelle and faded to finish ninth.
“Illegal Smile is breezing a lot like Arrest Me Red. She’s calm and cool and collected. She just sits back and makes that one big run,” Ward said. “Wink will just go right to the front.”
Ward would prefer to see firmer footing for Wink.
“She’s going to run a really nice race if the turf is the way it was on Wednesday,” Ward said. “She wants no part of give in the ground.”
Goin’ Good (3-1) looks like a major player for the Brad Cox barn. The filly won the off the turf Coronation Cup in the slop in her last outing on July 18 here on the main track.
Goin’ Good Wins Coronation Cup
The Christophe Clement trained Bye Bye (5-1) is cutting back from a mile in the Wild Applause where she carved out the early fractions before tiring to finish seventh, beaten three lengths.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Galway (5:39 ET)
6 Illegal Smile 9-2
7 Goin’ Good 3-1
8 Bye Bye 5-1
3 Wink 12-1
This gal is one of two in here sent out by the Ward barn. Last out against non-conditioned allowance foes the filly dueled for the early lead and could not match strides late with Goin’ Good in a runner up finish, beaten one length. The winner came back to win the Coronation Cup in the slop here on July 18. The Ward trainee won the Stewart Manor three back at Aqueduct last November. Off the bench two back in the Mamzelle she was a good fourth, beaten a half-length. Three have come out of that race to win next out including third place finisher Navratilova who won the Tepin on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and she looks capable of turning the tables here.
This filly has won 4 of her 7 career starts with a pair of seconds, beating our top pick two back. She has only missed landing in the exacta once in her career and that was a fifth in the highly graded Mamzelle where she was fifth beaten 1 1/4 lengths. She is back on turf here for the Cox barn that has been sending out live runners at the meeting, winning at a 35% clip. She is a logical threat to win this but our top pick is likely going to offer a bit more value for the top spot.
The filly set the early fractions and weakened to finish seventh in the Wild Applause at a mile at Belmont Park. The Clement trainee stalked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Soaring Softly (G3) two back in her first start against winners which was at seven furlongs. She broke her maiden three back at five furlongs in her second career outing. The cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs should suit her. Clement is 20% winners moving runners from route to sprint.
Illegal Smile to win at 7-2 or better.
EXACTA: 6 / 2,3,7,8 and 6,7 / 6,7,8