John Moore's Lager and William Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, both by Pleasant Tap, head a field of seven evenly matched older horses entered in Sunday's Saratoga feature, the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II). Already this year the 6-year-old has won the Excelsior Handicap (gr. III), finished second to Lemon Drop Kid in the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), and finished behind only Lemon Drop Kid and Behrens in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II).
Behrens' 5-year-old stablemate Pleasant Breeze comes into the race after winning a 1 1/8-mile Saratoga allowance race by 4 3/4 lengths over Catienus. Pleasant Breeze has yet to win a stakes race since taking the Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II) last October. The James Bond trainee, though, did earn his maiden victory at the Saratoga Breeders' Cup distance.
The seven-horse field may go off with six runners as Niall O'Callaghan trainee Nite Dreamer is also entered in Sunday's Iselin Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth Park.
The field, with jockeys and weights, for the Saratoga Breeders' Cup will consist of:
1--J.R. Holmes, Edgar Prado, 112, 6-1
2--Lager, Heberto Castillo Jr., 114, 7-2
3--Kimberlite Pipe, Mike Smith, 113, 10-1
4--Gander, Jerry Bailey, 113, 6-1
5--Nite Dreamer, Marlon St. Julien, 116, 8-1
6--Catienus, Pat Day, 114, 9-2
7--Pleasant Breeze, Jorge Chavez, 116, 8-5