New York-bred Palace, formerly a $20,000 claimer, earned his first grade I victory for owner Antonino Miuccio and trainer Linda Rice in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
An evenly-matched field of eight will face off in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (gr. I) on the Whitney undercard Aug. 2 at Saratoga, with seven of them already graded stakes winners.
Last seen being eased in the July 5 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) going 1 1/4 miles, Rudy Rodriguez trainee will shorten back up after posting consecutive bullet works at Saratoga.
The $1.5 million Whitney (gr. I) (Aug. 2)--the richest race this summer at Saratoga Race Course--has attracted a robust field of likely starters, topped by last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, Palace Malice.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) winner Justin Phillip came out of his first grade I victory in good shape and will target the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Justin Phillip proved his class Aug. 4 at Saratoga Race Course, taking the $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) with a determined late run over Bahamian Squall and Gentlemen's Bet.
Following a half-mile work over the main track at Saratoga July 20, Mylute was confirmed as a starter for the $600,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II). So Many Ways and Delaunay were also on the tab for trainer Tom Amoss.
Roddy Valente's Bustin Stones, the 2-1 morning line favorite for this afternoon's $250,000 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga, is out of the race according to trainer Bruce Levine. A bruise in his right front foot is the culprit.
Undefeated Bustin Stones, one of the leading sprinters in the country, will not run as planned in the Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I) May 26 at Belmont Park, trainer Bruce Levine said May 11.
The July 28 A.G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) at Saratoga figures to be an interesting race with a wide-open field, as six of the eight participants are coming off victories.
Galas like this don't exist in many parts of the country, but - in Saratoga - they make a Saturday betting horses a battle with fatigue. 'Hung over in Saratoga' is redundant.
Afrashad, unbeaten but untested against stakes company, faces a stern test Saturday at Saratoga in the six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup (gr. II). Five battle-tested foes await in the $200,000 race, but jockey Richard Migliore is confident in Godolphin Racing's 4-year-old colt.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown, who has managed to avoid the sort of injuries this year that have plagued him during his career, is the horse to beat in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs Saturday at Saratoga.
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