The Saratoga Special Stakes is one of the premier races for two-year-old’s every year at the Spa. Last year’s running was taken by Kantharos who won emphatically eased up at the wire. Sadly, his career ended prematurely due to an injury.
It would take all day to list notable winners of this race, but some of my favorites to win the Saratoga Special are Kodiak Kowboy, Gulch, Conquistador Cielo, Bold Forbes and Native Dancer. Click here to learn more about the history of this race which has been contested since 1901.
Todd Pletcher’s colt Stat (Unbridled’s Song x Di’s Time by Gilded Time) is the 7/5 morning line favorite. He won first out by 1 ¾ lengths over Trade and Street Fight. John Velazquez will ride for owners Bortolazzo Stable Llc. His debut win looked strong, but I’m not willing to accept such a short price.
My top selection to win the Saratoga Special is Union Rags (Dixie Union x Tempo by Gone West). The Chadds Ford Stable owned colt won first out at Delaware closing from seventh. He easily ran past the pacesetter to register a 1 ¾ lengths score. Trainer Michael Matz doesn’t come to Saratoga to play around so we know he thinks this guy is the real deal. JJ Castellano picks up the mount at 5-1.
Banner Bill (Rockport Harbor x Temporada by Summer Squall) and Indian Evening (Indian Charlie x Unenchantedevening by Unbridled’s Song) ship in from Woodbine for this prestigious race. The latter was an easy first out winner for Josie Carroll and Vinery Stables. Banner Bill is a perfect three for three with a hard fought length win in the Colin Stakes last out. Rajiv Maragh will ride Indian Evening and Alex Solis will be the pilot on Banner Bill.
Italo (With Distinction x Dance Forthe Green by Gone West) won his debut at Longchamp for Wes Ward. After that he ran last in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. Cant count him out at 10-1, but I also cannot see enough to back him. Jeffrey Sanchez is listed to ride.
Trinniberg (Teuflesberg x Bella Dorado by Seeking The Gold) will get plenty of action after an easy first out win at Calder in which he crossed the wire 5 ¾ lengths clear of his closest foe. Trainer Bisnath Parboo isn’t well known, but a capable conditioner nonetheless. Cornelio Velasquez gets the call on this 3-1 shot.