Sweet Field of Dozen Fillies Line Up in Test at Saratoga

A dozen line up Saturday at the Spa in the $500,000 Test © Cheryl Quigley | Dreamstime.com

The marquee event at Saratoga on Saturday is the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap (G1), but the best wagering race on the card may be the $500,000 Test (G1) for three-year-old fillies led by 3-1 morning line favorite Sweet Reason.

The Leah Gyamarti trainee has won four of her seven career starts and is coming off a victory in the Acorn (G1) in her last outing. The filly is perfect in two trips over the Spa main track, breaking her maiden here last summer and then winning the Spinaway (G1) in her first start against winners.

Finishing second in the Acorn was Sweet Whiskey, who came up just a half-length short of the winner in a game effort at odds of 32-1. The filly will be saddled by the Spa’s leading trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won 12 races from 34 starters through Friday.

Pletcher has not won the Test since winning in back to back years, first with Jersey Girl in 1998 and then Marley Vale in 1999. Sweet Whiskey is 6-1 on the morning line.

The Test and the Whitney will be televised live on NBC as part of the “Summer at Saratoga” series. The Whitney is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

There is one other “Win and You’re In” race on Saturday. At Del Mar, a field of seven fillies and mares will line up in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) going 1 1/16 miles on the polytrack. The winner earns an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

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Let’s head out to the Spa for Saturday’s featured betting race of the day:

 

Saratoga Race 9 The Test G1 (Post time 5:14 ET)

2 Fiftyshadesofgold   8-1

5 Southern Honey   4-1

7 Sweet Reason   3-1

9 Tea Time   8-1

Analysis: Fiftyshadesofgold finished 5 1/4 lengths behind Sweet Reason last out in a fourth place finish in the Acorn (G1) going a mile but looking for her two turn the tables today. Last out she set the early fractions over a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day.

Two back she won the Eight Belles (G3) at today’s seven-furlong distance, earning a career top speed fig in the effort. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and showed two back she does not need the lead and should have another tracking trip here. Worth a good look if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.

Southern Honey tracked the early pace and made a good late rally to win the Winning Colors (G3) last out at Churchill Downs in her stakes debut. Two back in her first go against winners she was a sharp winner against Alw-1 optional claimers. Three she beat in that win came back to win their next starts.

The Rusty Arnold trainee owns the top last out Beyer speed fig and she has a couple of good works over the Spa main track since arriving in New York.

Sweet Reason is coming off a win in the Acorn but she did rally over a racing strip that flattered he style. She cuts back to seven panels but won at this distance here last year when she won the Spinaway (G1) as a juvenile in her stakes debut.

While she is perfect in two trips over the surface, she may end up a light price and we’ll try to beat her for the top spot.

Wagering

WIN: #2 to win at 9-2 or better.

EX: 2,5 / 2,5,7,9

TRI: 2,5 / 2,5,7,9 / 2,3,5,7,9

 

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