Weekend Recap: Upsets Abound at Saratoga
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018
It was a weekend of upsets at Saratoga and Del Mar, as race fans enjoyed another weekend of exciting stakes races.
$300,000 Saranac Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 miles - Turf
The day couldn't have been better for Chad Brown, but the Saranac Stakes just made it a little sweeter. UP THE ANTE and HOT SPRINGS set the pace early. RAGING BULL ran midfield saving ground until the top of the stretch. Surging from the outside, RAGING BULL covered the distance in 1:47.19, rewarding those who picked him as the 2-1 favorite. UP THE ANTE took the place by a neck over MARCH TO THE ARCH, also rewarding horseplayers using our tipsheet.
RAGING BULL is the Irish-bred son of DARK ANGEL. With a win in the Saranac Stakes, the colt earned his second consecutive graded stakes victory under trainer Chad Brown. Brown was very happy with the trip directed by jockey Joel Rosario, "
I was very pleased. The horse got a great trip. I just want to say that Joel Rosario rode an unbelievable race. When you have a horse that's talented but runs from behind on the turf, you're very trip dependent and I just can't believe the trip this horse got." Watch the replay:
$350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) - 7 furlongs
Eleven fillies broke from the gates with CATHERINETHEGREAT, GUACAMOLE and NONNA MADELINE setting the pace and the early fractions as they jockeyed for position throughout the backstretch. As the field entered the top of the stretch, SIPPICAN HARBOR made her move on the outside sweeping the frontrunners for the win.
The daughter of ORB, SIPPICAN HARBOR was a 16-1 upset giving owner Lee Pokoik his first grade 1 win with trainer Gary Contessa. With her Spinaway win, the filly earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. RESTLESS RIDER took second and CASSIES DREAMER finished third. The Baffert favorite and half sister to AMERICAN PHAROAH, CHASING YESTERDAY, was out of contention early.
SIPPICAN HARBOR finished the seven furlongs in 1:23.72. Trainer Gary Contessa is looking forward to the Breeders' Cup saying, "She's legit...These are real horses, these are the best of the best." Watch the race replay:
$750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1) - 1 1/2 mile
The starting gates were full with a record field of 14. LEOFRIC, RALLY CRY and SUNNY RIDGE went straight to the front to set the pace. LEOFRIC and RALLY CRY led the field and set the early fractions. As the entire field came around the turn, it was a wall of horses with RALLY CRY and LEOFRIC out front, but out of the massive field came YOSHIDA. Covered in mud from running midpack, YOSHIDA, the Japanese bred son of HEART'S CRY overcame the front runners to win the Woodward with a final time of 1:48.94.
Trained by Bill Mott, YOSHIDA raced in the footsteps of last week's Travers winner, CATHOLIC BOY, coming off the turf to run on the dirt. GUNNERVA also came from midfield to pull off second in a photo finish with LEOFRIC. While YOSHIDA upset our picks for the win, our tipsheet did have GUNNERVA for the place and finishing in the money as we predicted.
As for his horse making the switch from turf to dirt, Bill Mott couldn't have been happier. "He went well. This was an impressive run, actually. I don't think you ever really know how they'll run on a surface until you try them."
While the Woodward is not a part of the "Win and You're In" series for the Breeder's Cup, the Woodward is known for producing Breeders' Cup Classic winners including 2017's winner GUN RUNNER. Mott says they will definitely consider YOSHIDA's options for the Breeders' Cup. "He's a grade 1 winner on the dirt and a grade 1 winner on the turf. We'll definitely talk about our options, after seeing this, the Breeders' Cup Classic would have to be on the table you'd think." Replay:
$300,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) - 7 furlongs
Going into the Debutante, the unbeaten million dollar BRILL was the easy favorite with her triple-digit speed figure her first outing. With only a field of 5, it was expected that the Debutante would be a three horse race between BRILL, MOTHER MOTHER and BELLAFINA. In the end, it was a two horse race with MOTHER MOTHER and BELLAFINA running stride for stride through the backstretch and around the turn. BRILL tried to close the gap, but lost ground as BELLAFINA surged ahead to cross the wire to take the win by 4 1/2 lengths over MOTHER MOTHER and BOUJIE GIRL.
Jockey Flavien Prat was very happy with the filly's run, "She was more aggressive today." Prat also told owner Shah Kaleem that the filly could have gone to the front at any time.
BELLAFINA will be entered in Santa Anita's Chandelier Stakes in September next with hopes for a Breeders' Cup start in November. Race Replay:
Have a great week!
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