07/16/2013 3:11PM

Saratoga: Schuylerville contender Bahnah has big talent inside small package

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Bret Calhoun estimates that speedy 2-year-old filly Bahnah weighs no more than 750 pounds.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Short on stature, but long on talent, Bahnah looks to validate her eye-catching six-length maiden win last month at Churchill Downs when she runs in Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes on the opening day card at Saratoga.

The Schuylerville, which drew a field of seven 2-year-old fillies, shares billing with the Grade 3, $100,000 James Marvin Stakes, the local prep for the Grade 1 Forego later in the meet. The 10-race card also includes the $100,000 On the Bus Stakes for New York-bred turf fillies and mares.

If you visit the paddock for the Schuylerville, you will have to look hard to find Bahnah, a daughter of Elusive Quality. She is quite small and Calhoun estimates she weighs around 750 pounds, though he said he has never weighed her.

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

“She is very small and she is very fast,” said Calhoun, who has taken two stalls this summer at Saratoga and will ship horses in and out from Kentucky. “She’s just kind of a miniature version. She looks like a racehorse. She’s an athletic looking filly. There’s length to her body. She’s just small.”

In her debut, Bahnah stalked two dueling leaders, swung three-wide around the turn, and accelerated home under mostly hand-urging from Corey Lanerie to win by six. Her final time of 51.17 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs earned her a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She did everything we wanted first time out, showed a real quick turn of foot,” said Calhoun, who trains Bahnah for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch. “Corey moved a little early on her because he was a little worried about one of the horses in there and she just accelerated quickly and it was over pretty early in the stretch.”

Two horses that Bahnah defeated in her debut came back to win.

Bahnah drew post 5 in a field of seven maiden winners that includes the Todd Pletcher-trained, Stonestreet Stables-owned entry of Yes Liz and Elena Strikes. Pletcher said it is not definite that both debut-winning fillies would start. Elena Strikes won on June 22 at Monmouth while Yes Liz won on July 3 at Belmont.

Brazen Persuasion, a second-out winner at Churchill, Jonesin for Jerry, Silver Valley, and True Blue Nation complete the field.

Bahnah is not the only 2-year-old filly Calhoun plans to run at this meet. He said that Fiftyshadesofgold, winner of the Debutante at Churchill on June 22, will point to the Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack on Aug. 11.

Jacobson looks to keep it going

Coming off a record-setting Belmont spring-summer meeting, trainer David Jacobson looks to keep the good times rolling at Saratoga, where on opening day he will participate in three races, including the James Marvin with Strapping Groom.

The James Marvin, the local prep for the Grade 1 Forego on Aug. 31, drew a field of nine.

Strapping Groom was one of Jacobson’s 44 winners during the Belmont meet – he eclipsed the spring-summer record of 40 set by Todd Pletcher in 2003 – when he won the $100,000 Lion Cavern Stakes in his first start after being claimed for $35,000.

Strapping Groom caught Jacobson’s eye last year, but the horse was away for 11 months when he decided to take him from Carl Domino on May 24.

“He’s doing good. He came out of the race great. He’s ready to compete,” Jacobson said. “Off his last race he figures one of the horses to beat. I wouldn’t want to run against him if I had somebody else.”

Strapping Groom, who breaks from the outside post under John Velazquez, faces a field that includes Souper Speedy, who finished second but was placed first in the off-the-turf Jaipur Stakes; Jaguar Paw, winner of the off-the-turf Three Coins Up Stakes, and Right to Vote, winner of the Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill. Right to Vote is cross-entered in Saturday’s $50,000 Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park. Hello Lover, Politicallycorrect, Sage Valley, Willyconker, and Laurie’s Rocket complete the James Marvin field.

◗ Hessonite, Shakeira, and Inimitable Romanee head a field of nine entered in the $100,000 On the Bus Stakes for New York-breds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

TIMO More than 1 year ago
True Blue Nation. June 21 morning line 8-1, went off 17-1, wire-to-wire. Surprised she's at 12 right now.......
Jewel Green More than 1 year ago
Love Hessonite too but no value and other inform horses sitting on a win
Jewel Green More than 1 year ago
Bahnah sure was impressive in debut but so were other contenders Great RACE
Rufus More than 1 year ago
Another Dark Mirage, perhaps.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Pulling for this little filly, Bahnah! Hope she turns out to be the U.S. equivalent of Miracles of Life, "Barbie", the diminuitive Australian ball of fire who captured the hearts of many with her spectacular winning of her first 4 races.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Ann Maree, my thoughts exactly! I am a huge MoL fan!
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I love Hessonite...
Mark More than 1 year ago
Eric Kozlowski More than 1 year ago
Has NYRA given a thought to changing post time until 4:00? The town would hate it but at least the opening day would run and those who travel long distances would still experience the opening day. They might discover a really big attendance for the last few hours.
tim More than 1 year ago
Nope, makes too much sense. Slightly cooler temps, more people could attend because of being out of work, etc. to logical of a thing to do. Rather run in he heat of a 97 degree day so they will either cancel or few people will want to come.
Andrew More than 1 year ago
Yes, that makes sense seeing as the sun goes down at 8:30 and the last race wouldn't go off until 8:52 and Saratoga doesn't have lights for night-time racing....
tim More than 1 year ago
Too hot on Friday to race. Cancel the card.
Witt 147 More than 1 year ago
You said that yesterday
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
TIm it's supposed to be 93. If they cancelled everytime it was that hot they would run half the days of the meet. When it doesn't feel a 100 degrees with the humidity it is a story. Unless it goes over a 100 or very close to it there is little chance they cancel. Especially on opening day. Grow a pair
tim More than 1 year ago
You got a point. 93 isn't that bad as long as the humidity is bearable. Hopefully they run and have a lot of hoses shooting cold water at the end of the race. I wonder why they don't spray down the horses right before a race?
Perl More than 1 year ago
It will have to be 119 degrees for them to cancel opening day at the spa.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
All of racing in the state has been cheating for years. From Aqueduct to Yonkers. I love the late money added to pools when the race is live.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Late money comes in in other states as well. I would agree that all outstanding outlets should have to have that money in no later than when the gates open. I bet a horse at Monmouth. He was 7-2 when loading, he was 3-1 after the gates opened, he was 2-1 down the backstretch and when he crossed the wirein first place, and he was 8-5 on the gallop out on the clubhouse turn.
tim More than 1 year ago
Lol! Funny how you often see speed horses who make an easy lead, with a slow first quarter, odds go from 4/1 to 5/2 when they put up the first quarter fraction.
AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
This is spot on...I quit betting to win simply for this reason...this happens ALL the time...this past weekend I had a horse that was 8-5 in the gate...6-5 during the race...he paid 3.00...1-2 really???? What a joke the game has become...wake up people...your being CHEATED
Andrew More than 1 year ago
Seeing as there are betting outlets the NYRA exports from NY to South America it may take a computer a little more than a few seconds to process the money bet last minute around the Western Hemisphere. Also the amount bet into the pools are audited on a consistent basis, but yes, you're right that's why you're getting cheated.....
james More than 1 year ago
hey dave enough with the jacobson interviews. if he is the face of nyra then new york racing is in deep trouble. historic saratoga is about to open and you are quoting that cheat. .
iknownothing114 More than 1 year ago
Andrew More than 1 year ago
3 drug positives in 07, 09, and 2013..............
tim More than 1 year ago
Any reason not to think Strapping Groom just jogs in the James Marvin? Hes got this horse going really good now and I don't see much in the way of competition, with the exception of a late charge from Lauries Rocket.