Saratoga Summer Season Ends

As the sun sets Saratoga summer meeting we head into the final day with some wonderful memories of one of Americas most brilliant and picturesque racing carnivals.

Emaraaty Pre-race warming up
Emaraaty Pre-race warming up Picture: Racing and Sports

The final day sees two feature races, the Bernard Baruch Handicap and the Runhappy Hopeful Stakes. 

The Bernard Baruch Handicap is a Grade 2 contest that is run over the extended mile on the turf and is used as a prep race for those looking to go onto the Breeders Cup Mile.  The most notable recent winner of the race was the champion American miler Wise Dan, who took out the 2014 renewal as a 7yo. 

This year, at the time of writing, seven runners are entered including last years winner QURBAAN for Kiaran McLaughlin, whilst champion trainer Chad Brown is mob handed with no less than three runners. 

QURBANN is a former French based runner who at 6 years of age is the only non 4yo in the race. Although he hasn't been back in the winners enclosure since taking this out last year, he has kept some decent company and has been placed three times at Grade 1 level. 

His speed figures show that he's been able to run to a higher mark on all seven subsequent occasions in defeat than he did when he won this last year, which clearly indicates that his form hasn't tapered off.

Like several of these he tends to run his best when held up off a decent pace, and with both Noble Indy and Dream Friend likely to go forward, the race should be run at a honest, if not solid tempo, however he may be venerable to one of the other ex European runners with less American mileage on the clock.

Emaraaty  was formerly with John Gosden and went off favourite in last years Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.  Having failed in that and one other subsequent start in England, the son of Dubawi was sent across the Atlantic to Chad Brown.

It was 12 months before he saw a racetrack, but he was able to win an Allowance race here at Saratoga and in the process he put a very decent speed figure on the board, one that puts him very much in the picture here.

He only won by a small margin that day, but the way he picked up after such a long lay off was eye catching, and he's entitled to come on plenty for the run. 

Another ex European Chad Brown inmate, SACRED LIFE, is worth a market check having rattled home from well back to run second on his American debut. He's a Group 3 winner in France and will most likely look to close late, and if he gets a good solid tempo he could easily run over the top of them here. 

The Runhappy Hopeful Stakes is a 1400m contest on the dirt for the 2yo's and is the first Grade 1 on the calendar for the male juveniles. Over the years it's a race that has produced some very notable future stallions, and champions Affirmed and the great Secretariat are both previous winners

GREEN LIGHT GO arrives here with a perfect two from two record and is likely to be at the top of the betting. He won his maiden at Belmont in good style from the front, and the form was franked when the runner up came out and won a Stakes race next time out.

He then took a step forward when he won a Grade 3 contest here at Saratoga by nearly 4 lengths when parking in behind the leaders and although the entire field have plenty of scope, that's the best bit of form on offer. 

The Hard Spun colt from the Jimmy Jerkens yard has been working well leading into this and the step up to 1400m looks ideal based on his two spins to date.

BY YOUR SIDE is the only other graded winner in the race, winning the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes last time out. The Eddie Kenneally juvenile also boasts a perfect two from two record, however he has a bit to find with GREEN LIGHT GO on the speed figures. 

Steve Asmussen runs three here, with Shoplifted  looking like the most likely of the trio having won his maiden here last July in emphatic style by 4.5 lengths and with plenty in the locker. This will be his first time out since then, but $800,000 purchase looks well above average and could represent a bit of value.


Racing and Sports