The Horacio DePaz trained Amundson leads a field of nine state breds that will go seven furlongs on the main track in the $85,000 John Morrissey Handicap at Saratoga on Thursday.
The son of Curlin was second against open Alw-2 optional claimers in his last outing on July 4 at Belmont Park. Jose Ortiz has the return call on the four-year-old who will carry 120 pounds and break from the four post as the 2-1 morning line favorite.
The John Terranova trained Funny Guy is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. The colt won the New York bred Commentator in his last outing on June 12 at Belmont Park. Terranova considered running him in the Whitney (G1) on Saturday at Saratoga.
“He’s a versatile horse and we can do several things with him, but really we don’t have too many options here right now,” said Terranova. “It was either jump into Grade 1 company going a mile and an eighth or stick with New York-breds at seven-eighths. He’s been fine sprinting, good at a middle distance and he’s won at a mile and an eighth, so until we know what his best is, we’ll run where the best opportunities arise.”
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There are several live longshots that have a chance of being in the mix including My Boy Tate, who is better than he showed last out when he tossed in a dud in the Commentator and Celtic Chaos (12-1), who won this race last year and makes his first start since January for trainer Brad Cox.
2020 Commentator Replay
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Thursday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The John Morrissey Handicap (5:46 ET)
#8 My Boy Tate 12-1
#4 Amundson 2-1
#9 Celtic Chaos 12-1
#6 Funny Guy 5-2
My Boy Tate
This gelding came back off a four month break last out in the state bred Commentator and after stalking the early pace he faded to finish a well beaten eighth at 23-1. The gelding put in a good effort two back in the state bred Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct going six furlongs. He made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot as the beaten favorite behind the favorite in here. After breaking his maiden here back in ’17 he reeled off four straight wins at Aqueduct. He is better than he showed last out and put in a good breeze on July 26. Looking for him to bounce back with a much better effort and the cut back to seven panels suits him.
The 2-1 morning line favorite is back with state breds after pressing the early pace and unable to match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish against Alw-2 optional claimers. His last start against state breds came in the Hollie Hughes three back where he took the field gate to wire. The gelding owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and looks to be a danger of taking this field gate to wire. He makes his third start of his current form cycle and Ortiz is off of our top pick to stick with this guy.
He makes his first starts since January for the Cox barn that is 18% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He won this race last year and has won 3 of his 8 trips over the Spa main track. The seven-year-old has been working well in the mornings for his return and is going to be a generous price in this spot.