Saratoga Racecourse

Essential Quality Fine After Travers Win

Godolphin's Essential Quality (Tapit) exited his win in Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. in fine shape, and, while his next start is up in the air, his ultimate target will be the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Brad Cox confirmed Sunday. "He looked great this morning. He's in good shape," Cox said. "[Godolphin USA President] Jimmy Bell and I spoke about [his next start] this morning, there's no pressure to make a decision right now. We'll just let the dust settle and enjoy this victory for a little...

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Fasig-Tipton Marks 100 Years in Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale, swept away by the pandemic last summer, marks its 100th anniversary when bidding on the two-day boutique auction starts Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion. "We are thrilled to be back," Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said while overseeing action at the sales barns on a brilliantly sunny Sunday morning in upstate New York. "It's wonderful to be here and to feel the excitement and the energy on the sales grounds. And there is that same...

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Fastnet Rock Filly Storms to Debut Win at Saratoga

5th-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 7-22, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:46.88, gd, 3/4 length. PIZZA BIANCA (f, 2, Fastnet Rock {Aus}--White Hot {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}), sent off at 5-1, settled well back in last as Hope Over Fear (Cupid) took the field through fractions of :24.88 and :50.53. Expand the Map (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) made an eye-catching move on the far turn and Pizza Bianca shadowed the move of that favorite before unleashing a powerful rally to inhale that foe in deep stretch and graduate by three-quarter lengths. Pizza Bianca...

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Friday's Insights: Pricey Flatter Colt Debuts at Saratoga

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-SAR, $100k, Msw, 3yo/up, 1mT, 2:15 p.m. Phil and Christine Hatfield and JSM Equine's ARISTON (Flatter), a $500,000 FTSAUG yearling, debuts for trainer Ian Wilkes. The 3-year-old, bred by Joe Minor's JSM Equine, is out of S S Pinafore (Street Sense) and is a full-brother to graded stakes winner Plainsman and a half to graded placed Liam (Liam's Map). Shadwell homebred Mubtadaa (War Front) set the pace before settling for second in his most recent trip to the post at Belmont June 12. The gray...

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Candy Ride Colt Debuts a Winner at the Spa

5th-Saratoga, $85,000, (S), Msw, 7-18, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:04.38, my, 4 3/4 lengths. SENBEI (c, 2, Candy Ride {Arg}--Sweet Aloha, by Western Cat), a $280,000 KEEJAN short yearling purchase in 2020, was sent off at 5-1. The chestnut colt was hustled out to the early lead and and was clear through a quarter in :22.38 and a half in :46.04. He extended his advantage down the lane and came home a 4 3/4-length winner. Longshot Gimmedamoney (Central Banker) chased throughout to finish second. Senbei is a half-brother to Filibustin (Bustin...

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Practical Joke Colt Romps in Sanford

Wit romped home an eight-length winner of the GIII Sanford S. at Saratoga Saturday, becoming the first stakes winner for his highly touted freshman sire (by Into Mischief). The dark bay colt, who broke last before romping home to a six-length 'TDN Rising Star' victory in his 5 1/2-furlong debut  at Belmont June 5, was again away from the gate slowly and settled off the pace as longshot Trust Our Journey (American Pharoah) set the early tempo. The pacesetter was some three lengths in front through a quarter in :22.68...

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Sunday Insights: Daughter of Oaks Winner Debuts at Spa

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-SAR, $100k, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 7f, 4:29 p.m. ET Bobby Flay's MEZCAL (Pioneerof the Nile), the first foal out of 2016 GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss), makes her debut in the seventh race at Saratoga Sunday. The 3-year-old filly, a $625,000 KEESEP yearling, is trained by Todd Pletcher. Bridlewood Farm and Don Alberto Corp. purchased Cathryn Sophia, with this filly in utero, for $2.3 million at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Courtlandt Farms' Big City Momma (Quality Road), a $700,000 KEESEP purchase,...

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NYRA Honors Carmen Barrera

The New York Racing Association will unveil the new Carmen M. Barrera Horsemen's Lounge Thursday at Saratoga Race Course. Formerly known as the Saratoga Room, the horsemen's lounge has been renovated and renamed to honor the memory of Carmen M. Barrera, NYRA's longtime director of horsemen's relations who died unexpectedly Aug. 8, 2019. "NYRA and New York's racing community at large owe Carmen a debt of gratitude for her decades of service to our sport," said Martin Panza, NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. "That she will now have...

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NYRA to Honor First Responders

The New York Racing Association will honor Capital Region frontline workers for their dedication and service to the community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic during Health Care Heroes and First Responders Day, presented by CDPHP, at Saratoga Race Course Friday. The day will feature free grandstand admission for all health care professionals and first responders with proper identification and races will be dedicated to doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and vaccine site workers, as well as local police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. NYRA also announced its Hometown Hero program,...

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In an Unusual Year, Some Things Stay the Same at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Even without spectators on the grounds, the 152nd summer of racing in Saratoga produced a total betting handle of $702.5 million that was remarkably close to last year's record figure of $705.3 million. The daily average handle for the 40-day meet in 2020 was $17.6 million and the daily average handle for the weather-shortened 39-day meet in 2019 was $18.1 million. The season concluded Monday as quietly as it began July 16, with a program conducted without fans, in compliance with New York State's COVID-19 protocols...

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Nyquist Filly Romps in Spinaway
Nyquist Filly Romps in Spinaway

Vequist (Nyquist) suffered a nose defeat when debuting going 4 1/2 furlongs at Parx, but found no equals when stepped up into the GI Spinaway S. Sunday at Saratoga, pressing a fast pace and romping clear impressively in the stretch to break her maiden in the first Grade I race of the year for juveniles. Unveiled as a tepid favorite July 29 in Bensalem for owner/breeder Swilcan Stables, the bay chased a wire to wire winner throughout and just missed when taking a final dive at her foe nearing the...

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Saturday's Insights: Well-Bred Homebreds Debut

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-Churchill Downs, Msw, 2yo, 6f, post time: 12:35 p.m. Mike Rutherford's homebred BIG LAKE (American Pharoah) debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen. The chestnut colt is the first foal out of Resistivity (Student Council), who was third in the 2014 GII Forward Gal S. Brad Cox saddles Godolphin firster Essential Quality (Tapit), a son of graded placed Delightful Quality (Elusive Quality). TJCS PPs 5th-Saratoga, $72k, Msw, 2yo, 7f, post time: 2:01 p.m. Shadwell Farm's homebred MUNQAD (War Front), a half-brother to GIII Gotham S. winner Shagaf...

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