The past two years two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan ruled the $500,00 Fourstardave Handicap (G2) at Saratoga, but this year it will be Silver Max trying to wire the field as the likely betting favorite.
The Dale Romans trainee is the 9-5 morning line favorite and will have to outrun five foes going a mile on the Spa inner turf. The five-year-old went gate to wire to win the Firecracker (G2) on June 28 at Churchill Downs, his first start since a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) last fall.
Among his foes is the Kiaran McLaughlin trained Sayaad (5-1), who earned a career top speed figure wiring the field in the Forbidden Apple at Belmont Park over yielding ground in his first start off a nine-month layoff.
If the two hook up early it could set things up for the Todd Pletcher trained Jack Milton (5-2), who makes his first start since a fifth place finish in a loaded field in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.
Bill Mott will send out Seek Again (3-1), who battled with Wise Dan in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) back in May, coming up just a head short. The colt checked in third in the Manhattan (G1) in his last outing.
Grand Arch (8-1) ships in from Woodbine where last out the Brian Lynch trained gelding won the King Edward (G2). He has landed in the money in all 13 of his career starts on turf.
Completing the field is Dorsett (20-1), also trained by Lynch. The colt came off an eight-month layoff last out with a fourth place finish in the Nijinsky (G2) at Woodbine.
Coming up on Sunday is the Jockey Club Tour on Fox, which will feature a pair of stakes for juveniles, the $200,000 Toyota Saratoga Special (G2) and the $200,000 Adirondack (G2). I will have a feature on those two races on Bleacher Report Saturday afternoon.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 10 The Fourstardave Hcp G2 (Post time 6:10 ET)
3 Jack Milton 5-2
1 Silver Max 9-5
2 Seek Again 3-1
5 Sayaad 5-1
Analysis: Jack Milton is at the top of his game right now and although he was fifth last out in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) he was only beaten 2 1/2 lengths and that was a deep field led by the winner Obviously, a seven time graded stakes winner. The third place finisher Tom’s Tribute came back to beat Summer Front as they ran one-two in the Eddie Read (G1) on July 20 at Del Mar.
Our top pick should get a good pace set up if Sayaad puts some pressure on Silver Max in the early stages. Pletcher is on a nice roll at the meeting, hitting at a 29% clip to lead all trainers with 16 winners.
Silver Max took the field gate to wire to win the Firecracker (G2) last out at Churchill Downs in his first start off a 7 1/2 month layoff. The five-year-old won 4 of 8 last year and has now won 10 of 18 in his career on turf. The third place finisher in the Firecracker was Guy’s Reward, who came back to win the Oceanport (G3) at Monmouth Park on July 27. Also exiting the Firecracker and winning next out was Regally Ready, who won the West Virginia Speakers Cup at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 2.
The Dale Romans trainee won the Bernard Baruch ‘Cap (G2) here last summer in his lone trip over the Spa turf. He is going to be tough here making his second start off the bench, but his price is likely going to go south of his 9-5 morning line.
Seek Again won the Hollywood Derby (G1) last December in his U.S. debut, then got a five-month vacation. He came back in a couple of tough spots, beaten just a head by Wise Dan in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs and then a decent third in the Manhattan (G1) behind Real Solution and Kaigun.
The cut back to a mile here is the main question mark and maybe Mott plans on scratching here and running this guy in the Arlington Million (G1) next week?
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,2,3
TRI: 3 / 1,2 / 1,2,5
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