A strong field of 11 will line up in the $300,000 Forego on Saturday, one of two Grade 1 races on the 11-race card at Saratoga.
The seven-year-old Whitmore is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The Ron Moquett trainee won the 2018 running of the Forego and comes into the race off a runner up finish at the Spa in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) on July 25.
“He likes to run,” Moquett said. “I’ve had some horses that you can tell aren’t interested in racing after a while, but the horse always makes the decision of what they do in our barn. So, we ask the questions and with Whitmore, he’s always answered that he wants to go have fun and run.”
The gelding won back to back stakes at Oaklawn Park before shipping to Saratoga. He likely will head to the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland and then a return trip to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) where he was third last year and second in 2018.
There are plenty of options to the favorite including longshot Lexitonian (10-1), who missed winning the Bing Crosby (G1) by a nose last out at Del Mar and Mind Control (6-1) may offer some value off a third in the Vanderbilt.
A.G. Vanderbilt Replay
There is rain in the forecast for most of the morning and afternoon which could leave the track sloppy or muddy and may affect the other Grade 1 race on the card more.
A field of eight go in the $500,000 Sword Dancer (G1) at 1 ½ miles on the inner turf. The race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 7.
Sadler’s Joy is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The seven-year-old crossed the wire first in the Bowling Green (G2) last out but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and placed fourth. He ran second in the Sword Dancer last year, beaten a neck.
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Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 8 The Forego G1 Post time 5:07 ET
3 Lexitonian 10-1
10 Mind Control 6-1
2 Whitmore 7-2
6 Complexity 4-1
This colt is one of three sent out by the Jack Sisterton barn. Last out the colt shipped to Del Mar where he rallied from last to come up just a nose short in the Bing Crosby (G1) going six furlongs. He started off the year by not firing in the Count Fleet Sprint ‘Cap (G3) at Oaklawn Park off a 6 ½ month break, then bounced back beating Alw-3 optional claimers at Churchill Downs going seven panels. The colt won two stakes last year including the Chick Lang (G3) at Pimlico and missed in the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland last October by just a half-length in a third place finish, missing the place spot behind Whitmore by a nose. The colt has never been on a wet track in the afternoon but sure is bred to love one, by Speightstown out of a Tapit mare. He will be closer to the pace here and looks as if he is going to be a generous price.
The Sacco trainee skipped last week’s Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park to go in this tougher spot. Last out the colt prompted the early pace and weakened late to finish third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt ‘Cap (G1) over the main track here at six furlongs. The colt has done some of his best running at seven furlongs, winning four of seven at the distance. Among those was last year’s H.A. Jerkens (G1) here. He was outrun in the slop two back in the Carter Handicap (G1) which was off a three-month break. His other trip on an off track was a win in the Jerome in January of 2019. He looks primed for a top effort here in his third start of his current form cycle and the 6-1 morning line looks fair.
The gelding had a tough time last out in the Vanderbilt. He acted up in the gate and then broke through it. He was brushed coming out of the gate for real, was on a tight hold early when a foe came over on him, saved ground and then finished up well in a runner up finish, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Volatile. He won his two previous starts, both at Oaklawn Park and he has a win over the Spa main track, winning this race in 2018. The seven-year-old appears to have not lost a step, earning triple digit Beyers in three of his four starts this year. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and has run well on wet tracks, with two wins and seconds in six trips. He looks solid here but our top two are going to offer more bang for the buck.