07/21/2011 11:49AM

James Marvin, Schuylerville top Saratoga's opening day

Barbara D. Livingston
Early morning trot at Saratoga.

Saratoga season is best known for the introduction of the top 2-year-olds to the national scene, and the first chance to see some of these juveniles is Friday in the Schuylerville Stakes.

Debutante winner Flashy Lassie has been scratched due to worries about the intense heat wave that has hit the area. Debutante runner-up Five Star Momma, Gypsy Robin, and Georgie's Angel look to be the top contenders, according to DRF.com's David Grening.

Saratoga 2011 schedule, videos, PPs and top news

In Friday's other stakes, DRF.com's Mike Welsh says to look out for Gayego: "Gayego has earned more than $1.7 million, is a Grade 1 winner, and has been beaten less than 1 1/2 lengths combined in the last two Breeders’ Cups. But he figures to be a longshot at best in a $75,000 overnight stakes when he returns from a five-month layoff Friday at Saratoga in the seven-furlong James Marvin.

"The James Marvin has once again come up extremely tough. Gayego’s stablemate, the two-time Grade 1 winner Vineyard Haven, won the race a year ago over a strong field but one not nearly as tough as the group assembled on Friday. The lineup includes 2010 Forego winner Here Comes Ben, Aikenite and Caixa Eletronica for trainer Todd Pletcher, 2010 Cigar Mile winner Jersey Town, and 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Hamazing Destiny." Well-accomplished Gayego an outsider in talent-laden James Marvin

Here's a complete rundown of the Schuylerville:

James Marvin Stakes

Perhaps the better betting stakes race of the day will be the James Marvin, featuring a deep 11-horse field that has won a combined 34 stakes -- 14 graded. Here Comes Ben, Jersey Town and Gayego have all won Grade 1 races. Saratoga: James Marvin Stakes draws deep cast of graded stakes winners on opening day

DRF's Mike Welsh has a live update from Saratoga this morning, just a few hours before Race 1. He's got the latest on-site information on how the James Marvin is stacking up:

James Marvin Stakes -- Race card, PPs
7 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up | STAKES | Purse: $75,000
1. Escrow Kid
2. Jackson Bend
3. Aikenite
4. Ravalo
5. Gayego
6. Here Comes Ben
7. D' Funnybone
8. Hamazing Destiny
9. Caixa Eletronica
10. Congressional Page
11. Jersey Town

The future of horse racing

Opening day at Saratoga is also the perfect time to take a big-picture look at the future of the sport. DRF.com's Mike Watchmaker and Steven Crist discuss where the sport is headed:

Latest Saratoga News from DRF.com

Formulator Stat of the Day
Race No.:
Chad Brown
6 – Poliziotto
Past Three Years, First Time Starter, Today’s Track
Wins (%):
10 (30%)
ITM (%):
16 (48%)

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