A field of nine juvenile fillies will line up in Sunday’s $200,000 Adirondack (G2) at Saratoga led by Wicked Halo, and the early pace should be brisk.
The filly set a sharp early pace in the Debutante at Churchill Downs in her last outing and weakened to finish third. Jose Ortiz retains the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen, who tied the all-time record for wins by a trainer along with Dale Baird on Friday at 9,445. He is expected to pass that total with 14 runners entered on Saturday.
Three of his winners have come in this race including last year with Thoughtfully. He saddled 2015 winner Just Wicked (the mare of Wicked Halo) and won the race in 2011 with My Miss Aurelia.
Asmussen is expecting Wicked Halo to give a good account of herself on Sunday.
“I ran her back fairly quick after the Debutante from the one hole,” Asmussen said. “It could have been different for her,” said Asmussen. “The Gun Runners have run extremely well, and obviously, that’s exciting to us. I do believe that every single one of them will continue to improve with distance and with time, just like he did. It means a little more to us when we send out one of his babies.”
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Her main rival is Schuylerville (G3) runner up Mainstay from the Butch Reid barn. The filly is a half sister to 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist.
2021 Schuylerville Replay
“I think she raced a little greenly last time,” said trainer Butch Reid, who also conditions Vequist. “She got a little distracted through the lane. I don’t know if it was the people in the grandstand or what exactly it was, but since that race her concentration has been much better in the mornings and she’s not paying any attention to any of that kind of stuff, so I expect her to run a much better race.
The Adirondack is one of three stakes on the Sunday card. The $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3) drew a competitive field of eight three-year-old fillies that will travel 1 3/16 miles on turf. The $120,000 De La Rose drew a field of seven fillies and mares that go one mile on the inner turf.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 8 The Adirondack G2 (5:05 ET)
7 Wicked Halo 7-2
8 Mainstay 3-1
9 Microbiome 5-1
2 Ontheoneandtwos 5-2
The Asmussen trainee set a sharp early pace after bobbling coming out of the gate and weakened late to finish third in the Debutante at Churchill Downs last out. She was a good looking maiden winner in her debut two back taking the field gate to wire in the mud at Lone Star. The runner up and third place finisher both came out of that race to break their maidens in their next outings. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and is in good hands with Asmussen who has been live in juvenile races this year hitting at a 24% clip overall and is 3 for 11 at the meet here with juvies. The filly is by Gun Runner out of the stakes winner Just Wicked ($208,460) who won the Adirondack in 2015.
This filly wired the field in the slop at Monmouth Park in her debut, drawing away to win by 7 3/4 lengths. Last out in the Schuylerville (G3) here on opening day she bobbled coming out of the gate, chased the early pace and was unable to catch a loose on the lead gate to wire winner while switching back to her inside lead in the stretch. She has worked sharply since that outing and looks capable of moving forward off her last effort. She is out of a stakes placed Mineshaft mare that has dropped three other winners including 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist ($1.23 million).
The Amoss filly took the field gate to wire to break her maiden in her debut over the main track here on opening day going 5 1/2 furlongs. She drew off in the stretch while shifting in slightly while a bit green. She is going to feel some pace pressure here as she won’t be able to get loose against this group. Amoss has been sending out live runners at the meet winning with 4 of his 14 starters. The filly was a $100,000 Keeneland purchase by Twirling Candy out of a stakes placed Smoke Glacken mare that has dropped two other winners.
WIN: Wicked Halo to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 7 / 2,6,8,9 and 7,8 / 7,8,9