The Saratoga meeting is here, 40 days of horse betting action that is about as good as it gets, with the $150,000 Schuylerville (G3) kicking things off on Thursday afternoon.
The meet starts early this summer as there has been a shift from racing six days a week racing to five, with Mondays and Tuesday dark days. The meet features 76 stakes worth $20.8 million, the highlight coming on Saturday, August 24 when three-year-olds battle in the $1.25 million Travers (G1).
The opening day fixture at Saratoga each year is the Schuylerville for two-year-old fillies which drew a field of nine. The co-feature is the $100,000 Quik Call (G3) for three-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs on turf with a field of 11 entered, with 10 likely to start if we are on turf.
There is a 60% chance of scattered showers in the afternoon.
The Doug O’Neill trained Shippy is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Schuylerville. The filly broke her maiden by 10 ¾ lengths in her debut at Laurel Park. Jose Ortiz has the ride and will break from the one post.
O’Neill will also saddle Comical (5-1), who broke her maiden in her debut at Santa Anita on May 26. “Both fillies are doing really well. With Shippy, we just took over her training, so we don’t know that much about her, other than her debut was super impressive,” O’Neill said.
The Quick Call is a wide-open race and two contenders from sharp barns are making their turf debuts. The Jason Servis trained Call Paul is the 5-2 morning line favorite and has won five of his nine starts on the main track.
Sombeyay (6-1) was beaten a nose in the Lookin At Lucky last out at Monmouth Park on dirt. The colt won the Sanford (G3) over the main track here last summer for Pletcher.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for the featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 8 The Schuylerville G3 (Post time 5:15 ET)
1 Shippy 2-1
8 Aurelia Garland 3-1
5 Comical 5-1
2 Integral 6-1
This filly is one is one of two in here sent out by the O’Neill barn. The filly rolled to a 10 3/4 length win in her debut at Laurel Park over six foes and earned the top last out speed fig in the field She was trained by Timothy Kreiser and was purchased privately after her big maiden win. She comes back here for a barn that is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. She has one local drill over the main track here and Ortiz picks up the call. She earned solid early and mid pace numbers and with the rail draw figures to be sent. Her stablemate also has some early zip so it will be interesting to see how the first two furlongs play out. She was a $77,000 Ocala purchase, by Midshipman out of a Speightstown mare, her first foal to race.
She broke her maiden over the main track here in her debut, winning by five lengths as the chalk. The runner up Talk You Out of It came back to run third in the Astoria in her next start and then was third when back in with maidens in her most recent start. Ward is having a good year with his juveniles but is 0 for 7 with two-year-olds in graded stakes at the Spa going back five years and according to David Grenig of the DRF, Ward is 0 for 32 in graded stakes overall at the Spa in his career which is a mind blowing stat. No doubt this filly has some talent and this race did not come up all that tough. She is out of first crop sire Constitution and out of a Dixie Union mare that has dropped three other foals to race, all winners.
This gal is also sent out by O’Neill. The filly took the field gate to wire to break her maiden in her debut at Santa Anita. I don’t think she beat much, the four that have come out of that race have run fourth, fifth, fifth and eighth. Her Bris number (97) matches her stablemates but the Beyer is just a 75 while our top pick earned an 87. Castellano picks up the call on this gal, who is by Into Mischief out of a stakes placed Tiznow mare that has dropped two other foals to race, this gal the lone winner to date.
WIN: #1 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,2,5,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,2,5,8 / 1,2,5,8,9