The lightly-raced Saratoga County has earned a chance to build on his runner-up effort to Wynn Dot Comma in the Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) according to trainer George Weaver, and will run in Saturday's Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
In three starts, the son of Valid Expectations
has broken his maiden and finished second in his two subsequent efforts. Weaver knew racing in a stakes like the Spectacular Bid would be tough, but he's pleased with what he saw.
"I think he ran a very nice second and I'm happy with what he's doing right now," said Weaver. "He earned a shot to go in another race like this, although I think this race will be even tougher."
In addition to Wynn Dot Comma, other faces in the seven-furlong Hutcheson could include recent Gulfstream allowance winners Harbour Gate and Blushing Indian.
"I have a lot of respect for the horse that beat us last time," said Weaver. "I think Blushing Indian ran one very fast race. It was probably the most impressive 3-year-old race I've seen so we know we need to get better."
That potential to improve exists, although Weaver isn't sure how quickly that improvement might arrive. In both Saratoga County's two races as a juvenile the colt bumped other horses. Weaver sees that as an example that his charge can do better.
"I think he likes to stay with other horses out there," said Weaver. "He might like to lay on other horses. It's hard to say how much more we can do (to make it happen), but we assume he's going to get better if he stops doing that."