Veteran runners Caixa Eletronica and New York-bred "win machine" Saginaw will square off Aug. 30 at Saratoga Race Course in a $70,000 starter optional claiming race that drew a field of nine going seven furlongs on the main track.
The 8-year-old Caixa Eletronica and 7-year-old Saginaw have combined for 43 wins and $2,749,195 in purses from 106 career starts dating back to 2007. Breaking side-by-side in posts 1 and 2, respectively, they will each carry 130 pounds, 14 more than each of their seven rivals.
"This might be as tough an assignment as he's had in a while, when you think about him and Saginaw hooking up, both carrying 130 pounds," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Caixa Eletronica for owner Mike Repole. "They're two of the best in the business at what they do.
"When you look at the fact that they've won (43) times and run as many times as they have, their record is amazing. I almost hate for the two of them to have to run against each other. They're two very popular horses."
Caixa Eletronica debuted July 14, 2007, finishing seventh in a maiden race at Calder Casino & Race Course for trainer Juan Arias. He raced exclusively in Florida until midway through his 5-year-old season, making his first of nine Saratoga starts on Aug. 9, 2010, running fourth.
He has won at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and owns six stakes wins, including the Charles Town Classic Stakes (gr. II), the RTN True North Stakes (gr. II), the Westchester Stakes (gr. III) ,and the Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III).
Most recently, Caixa Eletronica was last of five in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 4 at the Spa while earning a 95 Beyer figure, his highest since winning the 2012 Fall Highweight last November. Overall, he is 22-8-11 from 66 starts with purses of nearly $1.8 million.
"His versatility is impressive, and he's put that on display multiple times," Pletcher said. "He won from off the pace in a graded stakes going short, winning a starter handicap here carrying (131) pounds (on Aug. 26, 2011) going a mile and an eighth, winning the Charles Town Classic. He's capable of doing many different things."
Saginaw takes a five-race win streak into Friday's race, having defended his title in the John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds Aug. 1 in his last start. Co-owned and trained by David Jacobson, he also has won each of his past three starts in open company, including a seven-furlong handicap last summer at the Spa. He has won 15 of his 18 past starts.
Jacobson gave Saginaw a three-furlong blowout on Wednesday morning in :39.94 over the main track.
"He is training very well," Jacobson said. "He went really well. We always have these tough horses to run against, and when you have a horse like Saginaw, you have to expect that. If he brings his 'A' game, which he usually does, the competition (is) going to be in trouble."
Since being claimed by Jacobson for Drawing Away Stable in March 2012, the gelded son of Peruvian has won 14 of 17 starts, including 10 stakes, and purses of $713,100. In his career, which began in a maiden race at Saratoga Aug. 15, 2009, Saginaw has 21 wins and $974,690 in earnings from 40 starts.
Jacobson said the long-range goal for Saginaw is the $150,000 Hudson Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park Oct. 19.
"We are in Saratoga. It is the best of the best, and that's what Saratoga is all about," he said. "You have to thrive on that in order to be successful here. I really want to keep him among the New York-breds. That is where he is supposed to run and that is what has given him the longevity that we have been able to keep with him. He will try so hard, no matter who he runs against."