The juveniles take center stage on Sunday at the Spa, with trainer Todd Pletcher saddling the likely betting favorites in both stakes on the card.
The Pletcher trained Kauai Katie heads a field of six juvenile fillies who will line up in the $200,000 Adirondack (G2) going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
The filly turned heads with a huge 12 length victory in her debut here at the Spa on opening day, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure, the top figure earned by a juvenile so far in 2012.
The daughter of Malibu Moon is out of the stakes winner More Than Pretty, and is the 2-5 morning line favorite.
She faces two fillies in here that have stakes wins, Salamera (10-1) shipping in off a victory at Calder, and Cayllano (5-1) winning her last race at Delaware Park.
If she runs back to her debut she is going to be really tough, and she may bring out the bridgejumpers this afternoon.
The $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) drew a field of seven, and Pletcher again holds a strong hand, sending out Track Barron winner Shanghai Bobby (2-1) and recent maiden winner Drum Roll (5-1).
Pletcher got off to a slow start at the meeting, but in the last couple of weeks his juveniles are hitting on all cylinders, and so far at the meeting he has won a dozen two-year-old races with his first 31 starters, hitting at a 39% clip.
Both of today’s stakes will be televised live on NBC Sports Network. The one hour telecast of “Summer at Saratoga” gets underway at 6:00 ET.
Michael Dempsey provides his selections for Saratoga each racing day. Mike’s Best Plays Report is available each weekend, with his strongest plays and selections including the top stakes races.
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Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 11 The Saratoga Special G2 (Post time 6:46 ET)
6 Shanghai Bobby 2-1
4 Southern Honor 5-1
3 Spurious Precision 5-2
7 Drum Roll 5-1
Analysis: Shanghai Bobby is perfect in two career starts and the lone stakes winner in the field. He broke his maiden in his debut back in April at the Big A and the effort was flattered when both the runner up and fourth place finisher came back to graduate in their next starts. Last out at Belmont Park the colt was bumped at the break, sent up to duel for the early lead and finished gamely to get the win in the Track Barron. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout and has a decent enough off track pedigree if the rains come. Pletcher is winning at a 39% clip (12 for 31) with his juvenile runners here at the Spa.
Southern Honor was a much the best maiden winner last out at Philly for the Tony D. barn. The colt set the early fractions and drew off to win by 7 3/4 widening lengths in a sharp effort. He did not beat much, two he beat have come back to run, checking in fifth and eighth. The colt had a good work over the training track here for the Tony D. barn that wins at a 27% clip overall with juveniles. He will be in the mix early and is bred to like a wet track.
WIN: #6 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 3,4,6,7
TRI: 4,6 / 3,4,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7