Friday’s $200,000 Troy at Saratoga drew a very competitive field of a dozen that will travel 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.
The race includes the top two finishers of the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland on April 3. Bound for Nowhere edged Imprimis by a nose in that outing. Imprimis is the 3-1 morning line favorite and has not raced since. Bound for Nowhere is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2 and was third in the Jaipur (G1) in his last outing.
The Wesley Ward trainee was sent off at even money in the Jaipur but got cooked after setting the early fractions and backed up to finish third.
Ward is looking for the seven-year-old to bounce back with a better effort on Friday.
“He’s been working as good of works as he’s ever had,” Ward said. “Usually, when you’re coming into a race like this with a horse that’s seven years old, you always are worrying about something, but we’ve got no worries.”
Imprimus broke through the gate in the Shakertown and broke a bone in his nose, leading to a four-month break for the Joe Orseno trainee. The gelding crossed the wire first but was disqualified for interference in this race last year.
Bound for Nowhere Wins 2021 Shakertown
“He’s a very good fresh horse. When he came out of the gate in the Shakertown he broke a bone in his nose. We took precautions over it, but he’s been fine and ready to run,” Orseno said. “The Troy has been on our radar since that race. I was thinking about the Jaipur and decided to skip it, but he’s ready to go.”
A live price to consider is the Charlie Appleby trained Lazuli who is 8-1 on the morning line. The gelding makes his U.S. debut, having won five of his 11 career starts overseas including a pair of Group 3 victories.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Troy G3 5:39 ET
10 Lazuli 8-1
11 Bound for Nowhere 7-2
7 Imprimis 3-1
12 Casa Creed
The gelding makes his U.S. debut for the Appleby barn that has had success with his Euro shippers this year in New York, running one-two in both Diana (G1) and Just a Game (G1) and missing by just a head with Desert Palace in a second level allowance race in June. This gelding won the Palace House Stakes (G3) two back at Newmarket over good to firm footing with a solid 121 Timeform Rating. The runner up Came From the Dark returned to win the Coral Charge (G3) next out. Our top pick caught good to soft ground last out in a sixth-place finish in the Coral Charge Sprint States (G3), beaten 3 ¼ lengths. Three back our top pick ran third in the Dubai Dash at Meydan behind Equilateral, who came back to win the Meydan Sprint (G2) and then was fourth in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on Dubai World Cup night. The gelding has some tactical speed and Saez picks up the call. He likely gets bet down a point or two from the 8-1 morning line but still should offer up some decent value.
Bound for Nowhere
The Ward trainee set a sharp early pace and weakened in the stretch to finish third last out in the Jaipur (G1) at six furlongs behind a couple of foes he faces again here. Two back he was off a beat slow and came with a good late rally to get up late and win the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland. He draws outside and Ward has indicated he won’t be part of the early pace battle here. He has landed in the exacta in five of six trips at the distance and this guy has posted some big numbers, five triple digit Beyers in his last nine starts in the U.S. Ward has been sending out live runners and this guy should bounce back with a better effort here.
This gelding is returning off a four-month break. He was last seen in the Shakertown at Keeneland where he stalked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a head to our second choice in here. The gelding earned a career top speed fig in the effort. He broke through the gate pre-race and reportedly broke a bone in his nose. Orseno is on the light side with layoff types, hitting at just a 5% clip with runners coming back off a 61–180-day break. He crossed the wire first in this race last year only to get DQ’d and placed third for interference in the stretch. He should get a solid pace to run at and will be coming late.
WIN: Lazuli to win at 5-1 or better.
EXACTA: 10 / 1,7,11,12 and 10,11 / 7,10,11