A field of eight three-year-olds will line up in Sunday’s $120,000 Better Talk Now led by the Chad Brown trained Sifting Sands.
The one-mile test on turf is restricted to three-year-olds which have never won a stake at one mile or over. The race is named in honor of the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner who was sent off at 27-1 for trainer Graham Motion.
He won 15 races in his career and bankrolled $4.3 million, winning the 2007 Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park as an eight-year-old.
Sifting Sands, the 3-1 morning line favorite, came off a three-month break to beat first level optional claimers by a head in a game effort over eth Spa turf on July 24 for Brown.
Brown came into this week at Saratoga trailing Mike Maker by one in the trainer standings. Going into today he has opened up an eight win lead with 32 winners to Maker’s 24. Todd Pletcher has also saddled 24 winners.
The biggest threats to the likely favorite in today’s feature are In Effect (6-1), who was third in the Hall of Fame (G2) in his last outing and Straw Into Gold (7-2), who ran third in the Manila back in July at Belmont Park.
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After Sunday’s card we will have just six days left of the Saratoga meeting. Closing day is Monday, Sept. 6.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Better Talk Now (5:39 ET)
8 Sifting Sands 3-1
6 In Effect 6-1
7 Straw Into Gold 7-2
2 Dr Jack 9-2
This colt came off a three month break last out with a game win versus Alw-1 optional claimers for the red hot Brown barn. The colt tracked the early pace and came with a good late rally to get up late to win by a head. The third-place finisher Mira Mission came back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start here on Aug. 15. Our top pick broke his maiden in his second career start at Tampa Bay Downs on turf. He then went in the Woodhaven where he was not a threat in a seventh place finish a race that has produced three next out winners. This guy looks as if he still has some upside and he is a half-brother to multiple Group 1 turf winner Legatissimo ($1.7 million).
The colt was dismissed at 30-1 in the Hall of Fame (G2) last out and put in a solid effort. The Sisterton trainee was last early and came with a good rally, getting blocked behind foes from the quarter to the eighth pole, coming up 2 1/4 lengths short and likely would have finished second with a better trip. He was fourth in the American Derby two back in his first start against winners after breaking his maiden for a $75,000 tag three back at Churchill Downs. His price is going to be lower here but still the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough. It looks as if he is going to get a decent early pace to run at in this spot.
Straw Into Gold
The Clement trainee stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fifth-place finish against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers beaten 1 3/4 lengths. The colt ran well two back in a third-place finish in the manila after beating state bred Alw-1 foes three back in his second start against winners. He seems to like the ground a bit firmer which he likely catches here.