Sunday at the Spa

The only news of the morning, aside from the conditions being fast and firm at the Spa is that one of Saratoga’s favorite sons, Commentator, has been retired.  What can you say about the NY bred chestnut gelding other than that he had brilliant speed, was game in his defeats and always gave it his all.  Here’s to a happy retirement for Commentator.

As far as the racing today, the weather looms a danger but for now the radar is clean and an 11 race card that is without question the best of the meet in terms of quality.  Some of the highlights of the day include:

Race 2- A competitive field of maidens are set to spar as #3 GOLD D’ORO looms the favorite.  A half to graded stakes winner Adriano, this filly be Medaglia d’Oro missed by a beak in her last try over the weeds.

Race 3- The stateside debut of Redding Colliery, who was twice 3rd behind the Godolphin duo of Desert Party and Regal Ransom in Dubai, is matched by the return of Girolamo, who was a nifty debut winner over this track last year.  I’ll pass on both and take a stand with Speight of Hand, a son of Speightstown who’s back off a brief freshening for trainer Chad Brown.  Take a look at how he ran the last time he was fresh.

Race 4- The return of Elusive Heat may be an exhibition as she is arguably the fastest 3YO filly (at sprint distances) in the land.  She showed dazzling early speed in three starts last year and earlier this year.  One of the other speed horses, Rumor Control, has been scratched, so Elusive Heat’s duty will be a bit easier.

Race 5- Join me in taking a big stand against Bribon.  He is going to be wildly overbet in this spot off of his Met Mile victory.  The fact of the matter is that Bribon is not a turf horse.  He is running here to keep him at the distance of one mile and prep for the Woodbine Mile next month.  He’s facing a salty group which includes Inca King, who was a strong 2nd in the Firecracker last time out at Churchill.

Race 6- Just your run of the mill overnight stake at Saratoga with a field of 12 that is as evenly matched as they come.  Linda Rice has her obligatory three entrants and #10 SMART AND FANCY is back to atone for an uncharacteristic loss in the Caress.

Race 7- Where was this MSW on Whitney day?  A number of freshman sires have progeny trying this event including Offlee Wild, Forest Danger, Consolidator, and Roman Ruler.  Might the 2nd timer, Henry’s Time, from the barn of D. Wayne Lukas step up?  I’ll try with him at a good price.

Race 9- The Honorable Miss looms an interesting affair as #3 GAME FACE attempts to answer some serious questions about her inability to win outside of South Florida.  She is fresh off a smashing win in the Princess Rooney and faces a relatively soft group here, but count me among those who will make her prove it at 3/5.

Race 10- There might only be six in the Vanderbilt but it is one of the most competitive races you’ll ever find.  The de facto best sprinter on dirt, #6 FABULOUS STRIKE, will look to win both the battle and war as he will be challenged strongly from the opening bell.  #3 BENNY THE BULL is going to get an incredible pace setup but still has to prove he has some of that 2008 magic.  #2 KODIAK KOWBOY is perfectly capable but can he get the job done at only six panels?  All terrific questions and we’re all lucky a group like this could be assembled in a Grade II stakes race.

Thus, good luck on this absolutely spectacular card…I’ll be back periodically to check in with random, and hopefully meaningful, musings.

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