Three-year-old fillies will battle in Monday’s feature at Saratoga, the $100,000 Tenski, with Sweet Acclaim looking to turn the tables on Walk Close, who got the best of her in the Wild Applause at Belmont Park in June.
While Walk Close makes her first start since that victory, her third win in three career starts, the Chad Brown trained Sweet Acclaim came out of the race to finish fourth in the Lake George (G2) where she was beaten two lengths.
The filly is winless in four starts since coming to the U.S., but she finds a good spot in the Tenski, which is for non-winners of a graded stake in 2014.
Sweet Acclaim will have a new jockey in Joel Rosario, with the meeting’s leading rider Javier Castellano aboard the Todd Pletcher trained Super Sky, a filly he rode twice at Gulfstream Park back in March.
Walk Close is the 5-2 morning line favorite, with Sweet Acclaim the second choice at 3-1. The morning line favorite will carry 122 pounds, six more than Sweet Acclaim.
We have reached the second half of the 40-day meeting, and Pletcher leads all trainers with 19 winners from 70 starters (27%) and he looks well on his way to winning his 11th training title at the Spa.
After a slow start to the meeting, Chad Brown is in his familiar place in second with 10 winners from 46 starters (22%).
Castellano has opened up an 11-win lead in the jockey standings, with 33 winners from 125 mounts (26%). Irad Ortiz, Jr. is second with 22 winners while John Velazquez is sitting in third, booting home 20 winners.
Here is the stakes schedule for the remainder of the week:
Wed., Aug. 13 $100,000 Troy
Thu., Aug. 14 $100,000 Saratoga Dew (NYB)
Fri., Aug. 15 $100,000 John Morrissey (NYB)
Sat., Aug. 16 $300,000 Knob Creek Lake Placid (G2)
Sat., Aug. 16 $600,000 Alabama (G1)
Sun., Aug. 17 $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (G1)
Sun., Aug. 17 $100,000 Alydar
Let’s head out to the Spa for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 8 The Tenski (4:49 ET)
2 Sweet Acclaim 3-1
3 Walk Close 5-2
10 Super Sky 8-1
9 Hillhouse High 4-1
Analysis: Sweet Acclaim is 0 for 4 since landing in the U.S. for the Chad Brown barn and finished behind Walk Close two back in the Wild Applause, but may be able to turn the tables here. The filly came out of that race to run a decent fourth in the Lake George (G2), beaten two lengths for the top spot. She should get some pace to run at here and note she is getting six pounds from her main rival here. Brown got off to a slow start at the meeting but has been heating up, 28 of 46 starters landing in the money with 10 winners.
Walk Close is perfect in three starts and was a game winner in her last two starts, winning by a nose in each outing. She ran down our top pick last out and she finished strongly to win the Wild Applause by a nose over Wave the Flag with another half-length back to our top pick. The Christophe Clement trainee has come back with several solid works including a bullet breeze over the turf on July 31. She has a nice pedigree, by Tapit out of the stakes winner Spring Awakening ($258,178). It is going to be really tough to keep this gal out of the exacta.
Super Sky was fourth in the Wild Applause, beaten 2 1/4 lengths at 14-1. She came back at Monmouth Park and made a mild late run to finish third in the Desert Vixen. She has only won one of her eight starts on turf but has the look of a filly that is on the improve and her trainer Todd Pletcher has been on a roll all meeting, winning at a 27% clip. The filly is half to a couple of stakes winners, top earner Princess Arabella ($188,400).
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,9,10
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,9,10 / 2,3,9,10,11
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