Sanford the spotlight on Spa Sunday #1

It’s the first Sunday of the meet at Saratoga and overnight rains have led to three more races being taken off the turf.  They are Races 5,7, and 10, all of which were scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on the Mellon Turf Course.  Race 8 remains on the lawn and will go at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course.

Race 9 is the Sanford and it will be the 3rd leg of the late Pick 4.  My top pick is #6 CHIPSHOT, a Steve Asmussen trainee who broke his maiden last time out at Monmouth Park after two defeats in Kentucky.  His debut didn’t go as planned as Asmussen recently said he expected big things from the son of Peace Rules out of the stakes-winning mare Chispiski.  In career start #2 he ran into trouble around the far turn as he was steadied but stayed on well to grab the place dough.  It appears as if he has plenty of speed but can be effective from just off the pace, which gives jockey Shaun Bridgmohan plenty of options.

#4 BAIL OUT THE CAT is certain to receive plenty of support at the windows as he scored a handy maiden win in his debut at Belmont Park.  The colt who finished second to him, Soldat, came back to finish a distant second to the Asmussen-trained Wine Police, who was an extremely impressive debut winner.  The biggest negative with this son of Tale of the Cat is that trainer Rick Violette is only 1-22 with 2YOs in graded stakes races over the last five years and he has had a number of juvenile winners in the maiden ranks during that time period.

#1 LOU BRISSIE won the first 2YO stake race of the year in April as he stormed home to grab the top prize in the Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.  He ran into a monster last time out in the Bashford Manor but clearly belongs in the conversation here, with a bounce back expected.

For those of you looking to shop around for some prices, #7 COMMONWEALTH RUSH might be the type of horse you desire as he was a sharp maiden winner at first asking at Belmont last month.  A son of Afleet Alex, he was quick out of the gate in a Maiden Special Weight race at Big Sandy and stayed on well to the wire.  You’d think more ground will be no issue and Afleet Alex is gradually becoming a very nice sire.

Good luck with the Sanford and the rest of Sunday’s program.  Click here for my full card analysis, available every NYRA racing day at!


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