Saratoga Recap: Maker Stays Hot


Three weeks of the Saratoga meet is in the books (Photo credit:: © Cheryl Quigley –

Week three of the Saratoga meeting is in the books and after 14 days of racing trainer Mike Maker has stayed hot averaging one win a day.

Maker has won with 14 of his 47 starters at the meeting, a 30% clip with a ROI of $3.22. That is a stark improvement off a very good 2020 season at the Spa where Maker won with 20 of 98 starters (20%). He went 12 for 61 (16%) in 2019 and in 2018 won with just 4 of his 60 starters (7%).

He has won two stakes—the Bowling Green (G2) with Cross Broder and the Rick Violette with Run Curtis Run. He has one debut winner, Stolen Base ($9.50) and six of his winners have come with maidens, four of which were maiden claimers.

Seven of his wins have come on turf, seven on the main track. Eight have been in route races, six in sprints. Eight of his winners have been at 3-1 or less. His two biggest winners have been I’llhandalthecash at $41.40 and The Last Zip at $16.20.

Maker has spread the winners around among the jockeys. Tyler Gaffilione and Luis Saez have each ridden four winners, while Irad Ortiz Jr. and his brother each has three, and Joel Rosario has one.

The trainer has runners in two races on Wednesday, and just one race on Thursday and Friday.

Maker’s winners have shown a consistent improvement in Beyers. The left column is his winners Beyer prior to their Saratoga win, then the Beyer earned in the Spa victory.

55 to 64
62 to 67
97 to 100
78 to 86
61 to 69
70 to 79
61 to 75
81 to 90
93 to 94
76 to 81
65 to 67
80 to 88
58* to 22 to 62
Average Beyer improvement (using 58* and not the 22) is 6.53 points
(1 was a first timer)

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Todd Pletcher, the top trainer in 2020 and 14 summers in total is second in the standings with 8 winners from 44 starters (18%).

Pletcher has won two stakes—The Curlin with Dynamic One and the Sanford (G3) with Wit. The barn has won three maiden special weight races and three claiming races.

With juveniles, Pletcher is 3 for 8 ($5.35) and with first timers he is 1 for 6 ($3.69), his winner coming with Midnight Worker who paid $22.20.

Irad Ortiz Jr. has been on board for four of his winners, his brother Jose one and Luis Saez for three. He is 0 for 6 when giving John Velazquez a leg up.

Steve Asmussen is third in the trainer standings with eight winners from 33 starters ($1.81). His winners include one stake, the Amsterdam (G2) on Sunday with Jackie’s Warrior.

Jackie’s Warrior Wins Amsterdam

The trainer has won four maiden races, one allowance race and two optional claimers. Ricardo Santana Jr. has been on board for seven of the winners, Joel Rosario picking up the other win.

The barn is 3 for 11 ($2.06) in juvenile races and 3 for 5 ($4.54) with first time starters.

Chad Brown, who won the training title at Saratoga in 2016, 2018 and 2019 is currently tied for fourth in the trainer standings with Brad Cox with seven winners.

Brown has started 54 runners and is winning at just a 13% clip but has had 13 runner up finishes. His ROI of $1.98 is inflated thanks to Sifting Sands who paid $58.00 on July 24.

The trainer has won two stakes—The Shuvee (G3) with Royal Flag and the Lake George (G3) with Technical Analysis. Brown is 2 for 15 ($1.52) in graded stakes at the meet. Only three were at odds of 3-1 or less.

The barn is just 1 for 8 ($0.55) with first time starters. The winner was Portfolio Company who paid $4.40 in a turf route.

Cox has won his seven races with just 16 starters ($2.10). He has won two stakes, the Jim Dandy (G2) with Essential Quality and the Coronation Cup with Goin’ Good. He has won two maiden special weight race, one with a first timer.

Essential Quality Wins Jim Dandy

Christophe Clement, who got off to a very hot start last year is 6 for 33 ($1.57) so far this summer. He has won four maiden special weight races, three with first time starters, two of those on turf.

Among the notable barns struggling are David Donk (1 for 21), Saffie Joseph (1 for 13), George Weaver (1 for 15), Shug McGaughey (2 for 19), Rudy Rodriguez (2 for 28) and Jeremiah Englehart (1 for 15).

Stakes Calendar for This Week:

Wednesday, Aug 04 NYSSS Statue of Liberty Division (R) $150,000.00
Wednesday, Aug 04 Shine Again (R) $120,000.00
Thursday, Aug 05 Birdstone $120,000.00
Friday, Aug 06 Alydar (R) $120,000.00
Friday, Aug 06 National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame (G2) $200,000.00
Friday, Aug 06 Troy Stakes Presented by Horse Racing Ireland (G3) $200,000.00
Saturday, Aug 07 Fasig Tipton Lure (R) $120,000.00
Saturday, Aug 07 Glens Falls (G2) $250,000.00
Saturday, Aug 07 Longines Test (G1) $500,000.00
Saturday, Aug 07 Whitney (BC) (G1) $1,000,000.00
Saturday, Aug 07 Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) $1,000,000.00
Sunday, Aug 08 Adirondack (G2) $200,000.00
Sunday, Aug 08 Fasig Tipton De La Rose (R) (G3) $300,000.00
Sunday, Aug 08 Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3) $700,000.00

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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