07/17/2013 2:10PM

Saratoga 2-year-old races can feature future stars of the game

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Barbara D. Livingston
Wait No More is a Todd Pletcher-trained 2-year-old filly out of the Grade 1-winning turf mare Wait a While.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – On Aug. 3, 2012, Oxbow finished last at 22-1 in his debut. The following day, Palace Malice won a maiden race at 1-5 in his second career start. On Aug. 18, Orb, after jumping in the air at the break, rallied to finish third to Violence in what was the career debut for both 2-year-olds.

So, in a span of 16 days, the horses that would go on to win the three Triple Crown races in 2013 as well as a horse that would win a Grade 1 at 2 before getting hurt at 3 – competed in maiden races at Saratoga.

More future stars – not necessarily the next Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont winners – are likely to be unveiled again this summer at Saratoga, where rich maiden races, as well as six graded stakes races, are in the offing for juveniles during the 40-day meet that begins Friday.

Last year, trainer Todd Pletcher won 23 juvenile races from 67 starters. While loaded again this year, Pletcher said “we don’t anticipate we’ll be as successful – that would be hard to match – as we were last year but at the same time we’re still optimistic.”

Pletcher said that “right now our fillies are slightly more advanced than our colts.” On Friday’s opening-day card, he has entered the Mike Repole-owned entry of Stopchargingmaria (by Tale of the Cat) and Our Amazing Rose (Yes It’s True) in the first baby race of the meet.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

Two debut-winning fillies, Elena Strikes and Yes Liz, are entered in Friday’s Grade 3 Schuylerville.

Among the maiden fillies to look for during the meet is My Miss Sophia (Unbridled’s Song). She is the workmate for Ari the Adventurer, a good-looking debut winner at Belmont who is targeting the Adirondack on Aug. 11.

Pletcher has Wait No More, the second foal out of the Grade 1-winning turf mare Wait a While. Wait No More brought a bid of $1.575 million at auction. She is likely to be seen in August.

All in Blue was Pletcher’s first winning 2-year-old colt at Belmont. He will run back in Sunday’s Grade  2 Sanford.

The horse All in Blue defeated by 6 1/4 lengths in his debut was the Pletcher-trained We Miss Artie, a son of Artie Schiller, who had to check early in the race but finished 7 1/4 lengths clear of the field. He is likely to make his second start in early August. None Like Nolan, a runner-up in his debut, is a Malibu Moon colt likely to get a second chance here.

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Againsome is by Awesome Again out of the dam Orate, who is a half-sister to Pulpit. Chisholm is by Tiznow out of the mare Icy Warning, who has produced eight winners and is a half to the Grade 1 winner Ops Smile.

Corfu (Malibu Moon) is a $675,000 2-year-old in training purchase. His dam, Fashion Cat, is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Peace Rules.

“A lot of colts we have are bred to run longer, so it’ll be interesting to see how they continue to develop,” Pletcher said.

At last year’s Saratoga meet, trainer Chad Brown had 5 wins and 7 seconds from 21 juvenile starters. This year, he has a bevy of babies that should run here this summer, many with some high-powered pedigrees.

Owner Ken Ramsey has made his intentions known that he wants to win the owner’s title here and has seven progeny of Kitten’s Joy with Brown that have been working since March, including All Star Kitten, High Heel Kitten, Granny Mc’s Kitten, and Turnkey Kitten.

For Rick Porter, Brown has the trio of Cinnamon Spice, a half-sister to Violence; Thirteen Arrows, a half-sister to Cross Traffic; and U.S.S. O’Brien, a daughter of Empire Maker from the female family of Inside Information and Educated Risk.

Idiosyncratic (Thewayyouare) and Groupthink (Majestic Warrior) are others of note.

In 2007, Bill Mott won 11 juvenile races at Saratoga. In the five meets since, he has only won a total of nine, including a hard-to-fathom 1 for 30 last year.

But Mott seems to be well-stocked with juvenile prospects this year, with well-bred babies from Juddmonte Farms, Live Oak Plantation, and Claiborne Farm just to name a few.

Mosler, owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne, is a son of War Front who brought $1,050,000 at auction and has a pedigree made for Saratoga. The dam, Gold Vault, is a half to Pomeroy, a three-time graded stakes winner here. Gold Vault produced Contested, last year’s Test winner.

“He’s a very big colt and really going to be a little bit of a later developer, but he could be ready for a race at Saratoga,” Mott said.

Among the horses Mott has for Live Oak is Souperfast, a half-brother to Uncle Mo, the 2011 juvenile champion. Mott indicated Souperfast may be better suited to Belmont than Saratoga.

Mott has other high-priced auction purchases for Live Oak, including the Irish-bred colt Crowned Heart, a half-brother to Dreaming of Anna and Justenuffhumor; and fillies Ma Billet Doux and West Coast Girl.

Kalyani, Lemon Point, Quilt, and Savvy Star are other fillies that are likely to run at the meet.

Steve Asmussen won 11 maiden 2-year-old races at Churchill as part of his meet-tying 35 victories. Brazen Persuasion, a daughter of Indian Charlie, could be the one to beat in Friday’s Schuylerville.

Untapable, a debut-winning daughter of Tapit, is likely to run in the Adirondack.

Southern Blessing is pointing to Sunday’s Sanford, while Candy Dandy, a five-length maiden winner at Churchill, is targeting the Saratoga Special on Aug. 11.

Among the maidens Asmussen figures to run here are Big Sugar Soda, Sky Drama, Montana Cowboy, and Aaron’s Orient.

Trainer Rick Violette won five 2-year-old races last summer at Saratoga and has several that could get him back to the winner’s circle this year, including Financial Mogul (Street Boss), Currency War (War Front), Away Game (Lemon Drop Kid), and an unnamed English Channel colt that’s a full borther to Daddy Loves Gold, a recent maiden winner at Belmont for Bill Mott. The New York-bred Speed Read is a full-brother to Cribnote, a 13 1/2-length maiden winner here in his second start.

Kiaran McLaughlin, who went just 1 for 15 here last year with 2-year-olds, has the colts Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) and Double Whammy (Arch), as well as the fillies Heartofthematter, a half-sister to It’s Tricky by Medaglia d’Oro; Dancing House (Tapit), and Almurra (Street Cry).

mark oleary More than 1 year ago
over the years the cradle for future champions starting their careers at Saratoga is endless! Its a wonderful time.
jttf More than 1 year ago
our top 4 stars this year, did not race at 2 years of age. wise dan, game on dude, point of entry and paynter.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Then go buy a horse and keep it at home. You can not give it lasix and whatever else you like. It's your horse.
Rob Tolliver More than 1 year ago
Your point isn't really valid because you left off Fort Larned who is easily one of the top 4 stars in racing. Also Point of Entry is a long distance turf horse so of course 2 year old sprint races will not be a priority. Wise Dan and Game on Dude being geldings obviously means they were troublesome 2 year olds.
jttf More than 1 year ago
fort larned only ran once at the age of two. a 4th place finish in maiden race at the end of the year. wow, that one maiden race made him a star.
Starr D More than 1 year ago
If anyone would research racing facts instead of just spewing unsupported opinions, it would be known that multiple times it has been published that after studying past performances of many thousands of individuals----it has been shown that horses that race at 2 have a significantly lower percentage of breakdowns than horses that did not race at two. And there are even scientific - physical reasons why that is so - if one only wanted to spend a little time researching facts the info is out there! And FYI - Game on Dude and Wise Dan are not still racing because they did not run at two - it is because they are geldings plain and simple! If they were colts - they would have been off to stud long ago.
jttf More than 1 year ago
the stats are skewed. why would any trainer run their cheap claimers at the age of two ? how come europe's 2 year old stars go on to be undefeated at ages 3 and 4 ? frankel, sea the stars and zarkava all improved. name me the american 2 year old horse of the year winners that are undefeated at 3 and 4 ? wow, you did some great research.
Michelle Harmon More than 1 year ago
Debt Ceiling!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Dancing House
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So what about Lukas and Shug?Their horses won 1 each a part of the triple crown races and you didn't even mention any of their prospects.