With turf division standouts Showing Up and After Market skipping the race, Sunday's $100,000-added Saranac for 3-year-olds on the Saratoga grass became a handicapper's delight.
Fourteen horses, including main-track only Thundering Success and Congo King, were entered in the 1 3/16-mile Saranac. Ten are listed in the main body of the race.
Earle Mack's Green Lemon rallied gamely to be third, 2 1/4 lengths behind After Market in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (gr. IIT) three weeks ago. He was nosed for second by Spider Power.
"His race in the Hall of Fame was big," said trainer Peter Pugh. "Coming down the lane, he had to alter course two times. If he got a straight shot, he's definitely a clear second. After the race, he galloped out right by After Market."
By the 1999 Belmont Stakes and Travers champion Lemon Drop Kid
, Green Lemon had back-to-back victories against maidens and first-level allowance foes prior to the Hall of Fame.
"His maiden win (by 14 lengths at Belmont Park) blew me away," Pugh said. "Then, we took him to Woodbine, and he won like a good horse going a mile and three-eighths."
Green Lemon, who should improve in his second start versus graded stakes horses, drew post 4 beneath Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Crested, a gelding by the 2001 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) champion Fantastic Light
, is one for two in this country with trainer Wallace Dollase. In June, he won an entry-level allowance race at Churchill Downs. Then in his Saratoga debut, the A in Sociology Aug. 5, Crested finished fourth to Carnera after falling far off the pace in that one-mile heat.
Crested was bred by Sheikh Maktoum's Darley Stable and began his career with trainer Saeed bin Suroor in Great Britain last fall. But after going one for three as a juvenile with Suroor, Crested was sold at auction to Dollase and owner The Horizon Stable. Crested is the first horse on the also-eligible list. He will run if there are any scratches in the body of the race.
The Irish-bred Spider Power is 1-2-2 from eight starts this season. He's come close to winning a bunch of stakes over the last few months with placings in the Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) and Hall of Fame, as well as a third in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT).
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the stretch-rallying Spider Power drew post 7 with jockey Richard Migliore.
Last year, the Woodbine-based Jambalaya shipped in and took home first money in the Saranac. French Beret is trying to do the same thing for trainer Mark Frostad. French Beret is coming off a neck loss to Royal Challenger in the Aug. 6 Breeders, the third and final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. $100,000 Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:47 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 3/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. French Beret (ON), John R. Velazquez, 121, 12/1
2. Rock Lobster (FL), Eibar Coa, 119, 15/1
3. Desert Wheat (LA), Jose A. Santos, 119, 12/1
4. Green Lemon (KY), Kent J. Desormeaux, 117, 4/1
5. Murch (KY), Garrett K. Gomez, 117, 15/1
6. Sadler's Trick (KY), Julien R. Leparoux, 117, 6/1
7. Spider Power (IRE), Richard Migliore, 117, 3/1
8. Amigoni (IRE), Cornelio H. Velasquez, 119, 7/2
9. Classic Pack (NY), 121, 20/1
10. Outperformance (KY), Javier Castellano, 121, 8/1Also Eligible
11. Crested (GB), Michael J. Luzzi, 117, 6/1
12. Devil's Preacher (KY), Edgar S. Prado, 117, 8/1Main Track Only
13. Thundering Success (FL), no rider, 120, 5/2
14. Congo King (KY), no rider, 116, 9/5 Thundering Success was supplemented.