Looking for a Longshot to Steal Jerkens at Saratoga


11 go to the post in Saturday’s H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga. (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley | Dreamstime.com).

It is Whitney Day at Saratoga on Saturday with a trio of Grade 1 races, the most competitive being the $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) which drew a field of 11.

The seven-furlong sprint drew the top four finishers of the Woody Stephens (G1) which was won by No Parole in gate to wire fashion on June 20. The Tom Amoss trainee is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

The colt has now won five of his six career starts and is perfect in his four starts going one turn. Jockey Luis Saez has the return call and will break from the six post.

“He’s doing well. He had a much more enthusiastic work last week, which was by design,” Amoss said. “Everything he had been doing before then was just easy. To sharpen him up, we put a good piece of work in him with a sharp half mile. He came out of it well.”

The racing surface on June 20 was kind to speed, and two that might have been hampered by the track bias and a short field are Echo Town (9-2), who rallied for the runner up spot and Shoplifted (12-1), who made a mild late bid to finish third.

2020 Woody Stephens Replay

The Jerkens was renamed in 2017, previously known as the King’s Bishop. The race is one of three Grade 1 races on the 12- race card on Saturday.

The $750,000 Whitney at nine furlongs on the main track drew a compact field of five led by Stephen Foster (G2) winner Tom’s d’Etat, the 6-5 morning line favorite. The race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 7.

The $500,000 Personal Ensign (G1) winner earns a starting spot and expenses paid trip to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). The race drew six fillies and mares led by Midnight Bisou, who was installed as the 2-5 morning line favorite.

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


Saratoga Race 10 The H. Allen Jerkens (G1) Post time 6:18 ET

7 Shoplifted   12-1

4 Echo Town   9-2

6 No Parole   9-5

5 Mischievous Alex   8-1


One of three in here sent out by the Asmussen barn. This colt checked in third in the Woody Stephens (G1), beaten 5 ½ lengths. The top four from that race come back here. Our top pick trailed the field early and made a mild late rally to finish third over a racing strip that was kind to inside speed and won by gate to wire winner No Parole. The colt was cutting back from a route where he was fifth in the Oaklawn Stakes. He ran second to Basin here last summer in the slop at seven furlongs in the Hopeful (G1) after breaking his maiden here in his debut. It looks as if the pace is going to be stronger than last out which could set things up nicely for his colt. He won the Springboard Mile last December but has come up short in his four starts tis year. He did earn a career top speed fig in his latest start and after being 4-1 last out against three of these his 12-1 morning line today looks generous.

Echo Town

This colt is also trained by Asmussen. The colt was bumped coming out of the gate in the Woody Stephens, stalked the early pace in fourth while saving ground and finished up well for the runner up spot, 3 ¾ lengths behind the winner. It was his first trip at seven furlongs after his first five came at six panels. He shows three wins and a second in the Bachelor at Oaklawn Park where he was beaten just a head. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout and should get a good trip sitting just off the pace.

No Parole

This guy took the field gate to wire and earned a career top Beyer Speed Figure of 100. He was aided by a speed friendly racing strip. He has now won five of his six career starts, the lone loss coming in the slop in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park where he was a well beaten eighth. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers but is going to face a bit more pace pressure in this spot. He won his first three career starts by a combined 34 lengths, but those outings did come against Louisiana breds. Tough to back him for the top spot at such a light price.



NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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