07/30/2012 1:56PM

Saratoga: Saginaw back with own kind in John Morrissey

Barbara D. Livingston
Saginaw, who last raced in the Met Mile, looks to return to his winning ways in the Morrissey.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The clock struck midnight on Saginaw’s rags-to-riches story when he finished last in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 28.

Wednesday, the former claimer gets back to reality when he squares off against seven New York-breds in the $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga.

The Morrissey, run at 6 1/2 furlongs, is the co-feature on a 10-race card that also includes the $100,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Trainer David Jacobson and his main client, the Drawing Away partnership, claimed Saginaw from Richard Dutrow Jr. in March for $30,000 from a race he won by 13 1/4 lengths. Saginaw proceeded to win four more races, including the Affirmed Success Stakes by 7 1/2 lengths on May 19 at Belmont Park. He earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure for that performance.

Jacobson wheeled Saginaw back in nine days against Shackleford, Caleb’s Posse, and To Honor and Serve in the Met Mile, where not surprisingly Saginaw finished last, beaten 24 1/4 lengths.

“We had to take a shot and hoped to get lucky there,” Jacobson said. “It didn’t work out. We freshened him up and now we’re in Saratoga. He’s good; I’m expecting a big race out of him.”

David Cohen rides Saginaw from the rail.

Saginaw’s biggest challenge may come from his stablemate Fiddlers Afleet, who is coming off a 7 1/4-length victory in the Chasin’ Wimmin Stakes at Belmont on July 6. Though Fiddlers Afleet has won at 1 1/8 miles, Jacobson scratched him out of the Evan Shipman Stakes here at that distance July 23.

“I got him running good short; I don’t want to change anything,” said Jacobson, who has John Velazquez to ride Fiddlers Afleet. “I got two strong horses for a big race in Saratoga.”

Bandbox is a two-time open-company stakes winner who comes off second-place finishes in the Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico and the Wild & Wonderful Stakes at Charles Town.

Law Enforcement, who won this race in 2009, and Be Bullish, beaten a neck in this race last year, are other contenders.