Saginaw to Try for Win Mark in Alex M. Robb
The Alex M. Robb is race four on a nine-race card, with an early approximate post time of 1:54 p.m. EST.
Trained by David Jacobson, 6-year-old Saginaw gained his 10th victory of the year against open company in the Dec. 12 Gravesend Handicap at the Big A, moving into a tie with Clean Jean and Winning Dubai for the most trips to the winner's circle by a Thoroughbred in North America this year. Saginaw leads all horses on the New York Racing Association circuit in wins this year.
The gelded son of Peruvian has been first or second in all but two of his 13 starts at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course in 2012. He ran fourth in a claiming race in his seasonal debut and the other a sixth-place finish in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in May.
Claimed for $30,000 by Jacobson and Drawing Away Stable in March, Saginaw won a starter handicap and an optional claimer for his new connections before going on to win the Carr Heaven, Affirmed Success, John Morrissey, Promenade All, and Fourstars Allstar stakes for state-breds. For the year, he is 10-1-0 with earnings of $507,650.
Junior Alvarado will ride Saginaw, high weight under 121 pounds and the even-money favorite on the morning line, from the outside post in a field of five.
Challenging Saginaw in the 1 1/16-mile Alex M. Robb will be Bill Parcells' Saratoga Snacks, who suffered his first loss of the year Oct. 20 at Belmont when he finished a game second to Lunar Victory in the $250,000 Empire Classic in his stakes debut. The 3-year-old Tale of the Cat ridgling, who has won a pair of allowance races and an optional claimer, was to have run back in the Discovery Handicap but missed the race because of a foot bruise, trainer Gary Sciacca said.
"He's doing really, really well," said Sciacca of Saratoga Snacks, who drew post 2 at 6-5 on the morning line. "I expect him to run a big race. The distance shouldn't be a problem."
Ramon Dominguez, the two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey who leads the nation with more than $25.1 million in purses earned, returns aboard Saratoga Snacks after a month off to recover from his own foot bruise.
Idle American, who is 3-2-1 from eight starts at the Big A, returns to state-bred company and the dirt after a sixth-place finish on the turf earlier this month. The gelded son of Quiet American drew post 3 with Eddie Castro aboard.
Rounding out the field are Socialsaul, most recently sixth behind Saginaw in the Promenade All, and Swag Daddy, returning to action after finishing sixth in the Mike Lee in June at Belmont.
$75,000 Alex M. Robb, (Race 4, approximate post 1:54 p.m. EST), 3YOs & Up, 1 1/16 miles (inner track)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Socialsaul (NY), R. Maragh, 117, G C Contessa
2. Saratoga Snacks (NY), R.A. Dominguez, 116, G Sciacca
3. Idle American (NY), E. Castro, 117, P J Kelly
4. Swag Daddy (NY), I. Ortiz, Jr., 116, R E Dutrow, Jr.
5. Saginaw (NY), J. Alvarado, 121, D Jacobson
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