Week Five of the Saratoga meeting gets underway on Wednesday with a pair of stakes on the 10-race card along with a carryover in the Pick 6.
The $100,000 Evan Shipman kicks things off in the third race. A field of five state breds will line up to go 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
The John Kimmel trained Mr. Buff is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The seven-year-old is looking to bounce back after a well beaten fifth in the state bred Commentator in the md back on May 31. He was third in the Westchester (G3) two back and kicked off his 2021 campaign by winning the Jazil and Stymie.
“I don’t think he liked the mud that day. It was not to his liking,” Kimmel said of his poor showing last out. “He looks to me like he’s the same old guy, but that’s in the mornings,” Kimmel said. “Any time an older horse runs a race or two that’s off form, they’ll probably think he’s over the hill. He’s a 7-year-old and I’ve had that told to me a number of times and then he comes back and wins like he did in the Empire Classic after a couple of bad races in the Whitney and Suburban.”
The Pick 6 gets underway in the fifth race with a carryover of $187,640. The fifth is a state bred maiden special weight race with a field of seven going nine furlongs on the main track.
The second stake of the afternoon goes off as the ninth race with a field of eight going in the $120,000 Mahony at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf.
The Steve Asmussen trained Jaxon Traveler is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The colt was third in the Quik Call (G3) over the Saratoga turf on July 15 in his last outing.
Christophe Clement will saddle Momos (7-2) who is coming off a neck loss in the My Frenchman at Monmouth Park. The son of Distorted Humor broke his maiden at Saratoga last year on the main track and was third in the Saratoga Special (G3) before moving to turf.
2021 My Frenchman Replay
Trainer Wesley Ward sends out to the duo of Into the Sunshine (7-2), who won the Dade Park Dash at Ellis Park and Arrest Me Red (9-2), who makes his first start since last November. Ward also entered the main track only Fire Sword (5-2) but it appears that Mother Nature will cooperate as we start off the week.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Mahony 5:39 ET
7 Momos 7-2
8 Arrest Me Red 9-2
1 Into the Sunrise 7-2
4 Jaxon Traveler 5-2
The Clement trainee is coming off a tough neck loss in the My Frenchman last out over yielding ground at Monmouth Park. The colt set the early fractions and battled on gamely to just miss. He was a length in front of the third-place finisher Arzak who returned to win the Tom Ridge at Presque Isle Downs in his next outing on Aug. 2. Sixth place finisher Mamba On Three also won next out, beating Alw-1 company at Pimlico on July 30. Two back our top pick came back off nearly a seven-month break to beat Alw-1 foes at Monmouth Park on the main track. He showed some ability on turf as a juvenile, running third in the Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park before his seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). He catches a field with some early zip signed up so it won’t be easy early, but this guy looks to be sitting on a top effort third off the bench here and Franco knows him well.
Arrest Me Red
This colt is one of three entered by the Ward barn, Fire Sword to scratch as a MTO runner. The Ward trainee makes his first start since last December where he stalked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth in the Inaugural at Tampa Bay Downs on dirt while in the Delacour barn. His first three starts came on turf, a maiden breaker in his debut, a fifth in the Bourbon (G2) going long, then a sharp win in the Atlantic Beach at Aqueduct when cutting back to six furlongs. The barn is 25% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Three good drills on the turf here since landing back in New York and Johnny V. lands on this guy.
Into the Sunrise
This gelding took the field gate to wire to win the Dade Park Dash at Ellis Park last out for the Ward barn. He beat Alw-1 company two back at Belmont Park after a fifth in the William Walker three back at Churchill Downs over good ground. He showed some ability as a juvenile, missing in the Soaring Free in his stakes debut at Woodbine by just a neck. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and fits well in this spot. The rail draw and picking up the less than aggressive Irad are not positives but this guy does look like a threat with his best.
WIN: Momos to win at 3-1 or better.
EXACTA: 7 / 1,4,8 and 7,8 / 1,7,8