What makes the race so perplexing to figure out is that two of the top horses dropping back to 6 1/2 furlongs from longer distances—Captain Serious and Big Guy Ian—are two of the horses with the most early speed. But the real bullet in the field of nine could be the lightly raced and unproven Rock Fall.
If the pace turns out to be a hot one, it should set it up for Coup de Grace, winner of the Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) April 5 and a more recent victor in the Oh Say Stakes at Delaware Park July 5. In the Oh Say, the son of Tapit , owned by Fox Hill Farms and trained by Larry Jones, rallied from last in the field of seven to just get up by a neck as the 11-10 favorite.
Although he came from off the pace to win the Bay Shore and the Oh Say, he did show good early foot this spring, setting the pace in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II).
Coup de Grace will carry co-topweight of 123 pounds under the allowance conditions. The chestnut colt is to be ridden for the first time by Rosie Napravnik from post 4.
Captain Serious won his first three career starts sprinting in New York-bred company. In his first start in open company, he led every step of the way in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park July 5, only to get caught near the wire by Kid Cruz, who scored by three-quarters of a length.
Captain Serious, owned by Barry Schwartz and trained by Mike Hushion, will be ridden by Jose Ortiz and will carry 121 pounds.
Breaking outside Captain Serious in post 9 is Big Guy Ian, who gets blinkers on after finishing third in a one-mile allowance/optional claimer. So he could show good speed breaking from the outer slot under Shaun Bridgmohan.
As for Rock Fall, the Stonestreet Stables-owned son of Speightstown broke his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths in his second start May 11 at Belmont. Facing winners June 4, he came from off the pace to win by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:09.16. He again will be ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Todd Pletcher and could be the bet-down horse in here.
Breaking from the rail will be C. Zee, winner of the Cherokee Run Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his last start. Two races back, he scored a wire-to-wire victory in the one-mile Sir Bear Stakes. Formerly trained by Stanley Gold, the son of Elusive Bluff has since been turned over to Nick Zito. Luis Saez will ride under 119 pounds.
A live longshot could be another Florida shipper, Casiguapo, a fast-closing second in the Cherokee Run . The Sightseeing colt who has some strong efforts in top company last year, finishing second in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Delta Jackpot (gr. III), and fourth in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I). The Cherokee Run was a wake-up race dropping into a sprint and he looks to be dangerous if he takes another step forward. Jose Lezcano picks up the mount for trainer Mario Morales.
Also in the field is Noble Moon, winner of the Jerome Stakes (gr. II) back in January. He hasn’t run since his sixth-place finish in the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I). Leah Gyarmati trains and Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride.
Two horses coming off victories are Tiznowforamerica, winner of a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race in his second start of the year, and John's Island, winner of three of his last four starts in New York-bred company.
Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, July 26, 2014, Race 8
- 6 1/2f
- 3 yo
- 4:57 PM (local)
|1||1C. Zee (FL)||Luis Saez||119||Nicholas P. Zito||-|
|2||2Rock Fall (KY)||Javier Castellano||117||Todd A. Pletcher||-|
|3||3Casiguapo (KY)||Jose Lezcano||115||Mario Morales||-|
|4||4Coup de Grace (KY)||Rosie Napravnik||123||J. Larry Jones||-|
|5||5Tiznowforamerica (KY)||Joel Rosario||117||Thomas Albertrani||-|
|6||6John's Island (NY)||Angel S. Arroyo||119||James A. Jerkens||-|
|7||7Noble Moon (VA)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||123||Leah Gyarmati||-|
|8||8Captain Serious (NY)||Jose L. Ortiz||121||Michael E. Hushion||-|
|9||9Big Guy Ian (KY)||Shaun Bridgmohan||115||Michael Dilger||-|