Maven Looks Tough in Mahony at Saratoga

Mahony at Saratoga

A field of 10 line up in Wednesday’s $85,000 Mahony at Saratoga (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley |

The Saratoga meeting has been plagued by short fields in stakes race this meet but that will not be the case in Wednesday’s feature as Maven leads a field of 10 in the $85,000 Mahony.

The 5 ½ furlong sprint drew 10 along with one MTO only entrant and the weather looks good enough we will be on the grass and it is good to see a competitive field for a  change.

The Wesley Ward trained Maven makes his second start off the bench and won a Group 3 race at Chantilly last June. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on the son of American Pharoah.

If we see an upset it might be from Buy Land and See (8-1), who makes his second start off the bench for trainer Steve Klesaris. The colt makes his second start since winning the Awad last October. The colt hit the sidelines after getting sick after that victory.

“A month after the Awad, he shipped to Florida and got extremely sick. We thought we were going to lose him,” said Klesaris. “In the first couple days of December he was running fevers and had a bout of pneumonia. He had veterinary care around the clock and specialists coming in from the universities until he was diagnosed.

“It took him four or five weeks to come back to himself and feel better,” continued Klesaris. “He dropped some weight and we didn’t really know what to expect on his return or if there would be repercussions from it.”

His return off the sidelines was a 5 ¼ length win going 7 ½ furlongs at Parx. Jose Ortiz, who rode him to his 8 ¼ length maiden win last year gets the call again.

2020 Quik Call Replay

The Linda Rice trained Turned Aside is the 2-1 morning line favorite. He won the Quick Call (G3) over the Saratoga turf here on July 24, his third win in seven career starts. Jose Lezcano gets the return call and will break from the 10 post.

Rice will also saddle longshot Power Up Paynter (30-1), who was sixth against New York bred Alw-2 optional claimers on July 19 in his last start.

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


Saratoga Race 7 The Mahony 4:12 ET

8 Maven   5-2

1 Buy Land and See   8-1

10 Turned Aside   2-1

9 Jack and Noah   4-1


The Ward trainee has won three of his four career start including the Prix de Bois at Chantilly (G3) last June in his first start on turf. He then showed speed and faded to finish 10th in the Molecomb Stakes (G3) at Goodwood and went on the sidelines for a year. He returned against non-conditioned allowance foes at Keeneland over good ground on July 8 where he took the field gate to wire to win by 2 ¾ lengths and did it rather easily. The colt earned solid early and mid pace numbers in that effort and should move forward second off the bench for Ward. His last start was his first start with lasix and he picks up Irad.

Buy Land and See

This colt is cutting back from 7 ½ furlongs where last out at Philly he came back off a nine-month layoff to beat Pennsylvania bred allowance foes by 5 ¼ lengths. His lone turf sprint came in his debut here last summer where he made a mild late bid to finish third. He then graduated at Philly at 7 ½ furlongs and won the one-mile Awad at Belmont Park over good ground before hitting the bench. Klesaris shipped the colt to Florida after his Awad win and he became sick. He draws the rail and when he made his debut, he drew the rail and was off last. He has enough tactical speed to be able to handle the cut back to 5 ½ furlongs. Decent value if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line and just needs an alert break to be in the mix.

Turned Aside

The Rice trainee is the 2-1 morning line favorite. He is coming in off a career best effort winning the Quik Call (G3) here on July 24. The colt tracked the early pace after breaking sharply, took over the lead without a lot of effort and went on to win by1 ¾ lengths in a sharp effort over three foes he faces again today. He came back off a 6 ½ month break two back to run a good second in the Sir Cat at Belmont Park going six furlongs. He fits well here as he makes his third start of his current form cycle but our top two in here likely are going to offer a bit more value for the top spot.


WIN: Maven to win at 5-2 or better.

EXACTA: 8 / 1,3,9,10 and 1,8 / 1,8,9,10


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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