Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver makes his first start since a front-running score in Santa Anita's San Gabriel (gr. IIT) on New Year's Day in Saturday's $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga turf. The Bernard Baruch will be the second leg of a $1 million all-stakes Pick 4 and the third leg of a $100,000 guaranteed Grand Slam on Travers Day. The race will be shown during a two-hour telecast on ESPN from 5 to 7 p.m. ET. A field of 10 was entered in the 1 1/8-mile grass test.A 6-year old Silver Deputy colt, Badge of Silver has made only 14 starts in a career that spans five seasons but is a graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt. His last win came on the Santa Anita turf."He's had a few operations, a lot of nicks and bruises along the way," trainer Bobby Frankel said. "He has been stopped and started on throughout his career, but he's ready to run a winning race on Saturday. We are not using (the Baruch) as a prep to bigger things. He is in there to win. He's been training great."We brought him back to win a grade I with him," Frankel said. "He's grade I stakes-placed on dirt (the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in 2004), but we want to win one with him, be it on turf or dirt."A horse with high cruising speed, Badge of Silver figures to be on the lead Saturday. Getting a horse to win off a long layoff is often a daunting task, but Frankel is one of the best in the business. He wins at more than 21% percent when returning horses off a layoff of more than 180 days.
Standing in the way is the David Donk-trained Fishy Advice. Coming off a three-length score in the $200,000 Caesar Rodney Stakes at Delaware Park, the Woodman colt is perfect in two starts this year.Another horse with the speed to be on the pace is the veteran Quest Star. Trained by Neil Howard, the 7-year old Broad Brush horse is a multiple graded stakes winner. He prepped for the Baruch with a third in a money-allowance race Aug. 9. In 2002, while under the care of Elliot Walden, Quest Star won the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.Ashkal Way, for the powerful Godolphin Stable, finished second in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 6. Compromised by the slow fractions set by race winner Remarkable News, he should get a better setup to complement his late running style this time. Prior to the Fourstardave, Ashkal Way won a minor stakes at Monmouth Park.
Dreadnaught, for trainer Tom Voss, is another grizzled veteran of the turf. Although he has only one win over the past two seasons, he is eligible to threaten if he gets a strong pace to close into. He was a game second in Pimlico's Dixie Handicap (gr. IIT) on Preakness day, losing to Breeder's Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now by a nose while defeating Breeder's Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Artie Schiller. $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:18 pm.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight Jockey
1. Dreadnaught (KY), 116, Cornelio Velasquez
2. Fishy Advice (KY), 115, John Velazquez
3. Etesaal (KY), 115, Eibar Coa
4. Terrific Storm (KY), 113, Kent Desormeaux
5. Quest Star (KY), 115, Julien Leparoux
6. Interpatation (KY), 113, Rafael Bejarano
7. Badge of Silver (KY), 118, Edgar Prado
8. Leadwithyourchin (KY), 113, Fernando Jara
9. Ashkal Way (IRE), 115, Garrett Gomez
10. T.D. Vance, 115, Ramon Dominguez
Dreadnaught will race with blinkers.