City of Light ships in from the west coast for trainer Michal McCarthy and is the 9-5 morning line favorite for the $600,000 Forego (G1), one of four Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races on the Travers Day card.
A field of eight go to the post in the Forego with the winner earning an all-expenses paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs this November.
City Lights is coming off a third place finish in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) going 1 ¼ miles. Earlier this year the colt won the Triple Bend (G1) at seven furlongs at Santa Anita and last December he won the Malibu (G1) at seven panels in his stakes debut.
“After the Gold Cup, we had circled the Whitney, as Mr. Warren has been wanting to bring him east,” McCarthy said. “He started the Del Mar meet off with a bit of a foot bruise, and we didn’t want to rush things with him. With two Grade 1 wins at seven furlongs, the Forego looked like an ideal spot.”
The top two finishers from the Belmont Sprint (G2) return. Limousine Liberal (3-1) got up late to win the race by a neck over Whitmore (4-1).
C Z Rocket (9-2) comes into the race off a victory in the Kelly’s Landing at Churchill Downs for trainer Al Stall while Warrior’s Club (10-1) was the runner up to Imperial Hint in the A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) in his last outing.
There are seven graded stakes on today’s card at the Spa led by the $1.25 million Travers (G1). Good Magic is the 2-1 morning line favorite and is coming off a victory in the Haskell Invitational (G1).
NBC will televise the action in a two-hour telecast that kicks off at 4:00 ET.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga.
Let’s head out to the Spa for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Forego G1 (Post time 4:12 ET)
#8 City of Light 9-5
#1 Limousine Liberal 3-1
#3 Whitmore 4-1
#6 C Z Rocket 9-2
Analysis: City of Light cuts back to seven furlongs after running third behind Accelerate in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), the winner coming back to win the Pacific Classic (G1) in his next outing at Del Mar on Aug. 18 while the fourth-place finisher Pavel came back to win the Stephen Foster (G2) and then run second in the pacific Classic in his next two starts. Our top pick won the Malibu (G1) at seven furlongs last December in his stakes debut and then came back to win the Triple Bend (G1) back in March. He won the Oaklawn ‘Cap (G2) at Nine furlongs but it sure looks as if seven panels is his best distance. He has popped four bullet works at Del Mar since his last outing for the McCarthy barn that is 15% winners moving runners from route to sprint.
Limousine Liberal stalked the early pace, came with a five wide run and got up late to win the Belmont Sprint (G1) last out at seven furlongs. The Colebrook trainee has won 5 of his 10 starts at the distance and has now landed in the money in 19 of his 23 career starts. He breaks from the rail here which may force Ortiz to send him early. There is not a ton of pure speed in here so he should be able to work out a good trip.
Whitmore just missed in the Belmont Sprint by a neck last out, tracking the early pace, bulling his way in between foes and just missing. Two back he missed by just a neck in the True North (G2) at Belmont Park going 6 1/2 furlongs. The gelding has done his best running at Oaklawn Park but comes in here sharp and this will be his first trip over the Spa main tack. Moquett has picked up four wins at the meeting from his first 19 starters.
WIN: #8 to win at 8 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,3,6,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,6,8 / 1,2,3,6,8