Thursday’s stake at Saratoga is the 13th running of the $100,000 John Morrissey, and two former winners of the race will clash in the 6 ½ furlong test on the main track.
Last year’s winner Moonlight Song will be making his first start since winning the race last summer for trainer Charlton Baker. The gelding has won 8 of his 17 career starts and comes into the race with a couple of bullet works in tow.
The 2014 winner Weekend Hideaway is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The Phil Serpe trainee took the field gate to wire to win the state bred Commentator last out at Belmont Park going a mile in the mud.
The race is named after John Morrisey, who helped create Saratoga. Known as “Old Smoke” he was a former boxer and gang member in the 1850’s and later owned 16 casinos.
He also served two terms in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Congress.
Morrissey died on May 1, 1878 at the age of 47 from pneumonia
Let’s head out to the Spa for Thursday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 John Morrissey (Post time 5:40 ET)
#8 Drama King 6-1
#5 Weekend Hideaway 2-1
#2 Moonlight Song 7-2
#6 Crackerjack Jones 6-1
Analysis: Drama King came with a seven wide run to rally for third beaten two lengths against $80,000 optional claimers last out at Belmont Park. Two back this guy rallied for third behind the favorite in here Weekend Hideaway, beaten three lengths. The RRod runner has one start over the main track here, beating state bred Alw-1 foes last summer. The colt is going to get a sharp early pace to run at and horses coming from off the pace have fared well over the Spa main track here over the first four days of the meeting.
Weekend Hideaway has won three of his last four starts, taking the state bred Commentator last out in the mud going a mile at Belmont Park. He has won three of his six trips over the main track here including winning this race back in 20104. The Serpe trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and cuts back to a sprint. There is enough early speed to keep him company early in this spot. He returns here off a two month break and the main knock is going to be the likely short price.
Moonlight Song took the field gate to wire to win this race last year and now returns off a year layoff for the baker barn that is 17% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He has put in a cope of bullet works for his return, the last over the training track here on July 22. he has run well fresh in the past.
WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 2,5,6,8
TRI: 5,8 / 2,5,6,8 / 2,5,6,8,9
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