J: NEIL CALLAN
T: CASPAR FOWNES
By NICKLAS YIP
Full of excitement in last Sunday as Blake Shinn and Douglas Whyte scored their first goal in the opener. Meanwhile, Joao Moreira a.k.a. The Magic was disappeared and he hopes a turn around this meeting.
Race 1 Bonham Handicap (Class 5,1200M, Dirt)
#1 Corre Rapido is classy in class 5, forget about class 4 as he can’t do well for sure, trial well, top pick. #2 Fortune Happiness already found himself over the same distance in class 5, with Joao on board and blinkers on, he can be a different horse this season. #3 Supreme Witness is too good in class 5 but not on this track. #6 Exponents ran OKAY in barrier trial but he is so inconsistent. #10 Run Mocchi always did well in trackwork, adding visor maybe a boost.
Selections: #1 Corre Rapido, #2 Fortune Happiness, #6 Exponents, #10 Run Mocchi
#1 Corre Rapido (Banker) with #2 Fortune Happiness, #6 Exponents, #10 Run Mocchi
Race 2: Caine Handicap (Class 4, 1600M, Turf)
#1 New Elegance has not won a race since December 2017, the first time dropped to class 4 with Zac on board, place chance. #2 Such A Happiness is a better horse with a smaller field. #3 Sunny Power is a tricky horse, but he needs blinkers on. #4 Amazing Agility a horse to watch, did extremely well in a barrier trial, distance is not an issue as he won this two years ago. #9 California Legend has improved so much from day 1 to now, good speed from trials recently, 1600m is more suitable.
Selections: #1 New Elegance, #2 Such A Happiness, #9 California Legend, #4 Amazing Agility
#9 California Legend
Race 3: Hollywood Handicap (Class 5, 1400M, Turf)
#1 Blazing Partners has shown a huge improvement in the offseason, if he shows calmly during the parade, he can be a horse to beat. #2 Flying Noble is fit under Benno Yung, huge chance. #5 Joy Master is another horse to watch, already proved himself in last 2 starts with some decent turn of foot, Joao knew it for sure. #12 Big Bully is in a good form but not easy to win.
Selections: #5 Joy Master, #1 Blazing Partners, #2 Flying Noble, #12 Big Bully
#5 Joy Master
Race 4: The Tung Wah Group Of Hospitals Challenge Cup (Class 4, 1200M, Turf)
#1 Momentum Happy cost $3.7 million in the Hong Kong International Sale, he will be proven his ability although a gate 12, he showed a quick gate speed from recent trials. #2 Shousan is improving but not this time. #3 Big Fortune is a good pacemaker, with gate 2, he can perform better. #5 Supreme Plus dropped back to 1200m will be a better horse. #7 Mischievous Sundae is improving during trackwork, Joao Moreira kept training him in the offseason, first timer at Sha Tin maybe a surprise one.
Selections: #1 Momentum Happy, #7 Mischievous Sundae, #3 Big Fortune, #5 Supreme Plus
#1 Momentum Happy, #7 Mischievous Sundae
Race 5: New Street Handicap (Class 4, 1200M, Dirt)
#1 Touch Of Luck did not show any improvement this offseason, that’s why changing gear may be useful. #3 Sky Treasure did well from the trials, but gate 12 is not easy to handle. #4 Generous Heart always did well on dirt track, place chance. #5 Gunnar gained some weight during the off-season to show he is getting muscular, ran extremely well from trials, pedigree OKAY for dirt, most Hinchinbrook’s son will be a flyer in 4 years old campaign, top chance. #6 Grand Harbour with gate 1 is a horse to watch. #7 Turf Brillant is a dirt specialist but he is not yet ready.
Selections: #5 Gunnar, #1 Touch Of Luck, #6 Grand Harbour, #4 Generous Heart
Race 6: Po Hing Handicap (Class 4, 1400M, Turf)
#1 Witness Hunter is classy in this class but he is not in the top form. #4 My Power can be a threat with gate 1 and lead in the front. #5 City Legend showed well from barrier trial, horse to beat. #10 Diamond Legend will be a better horse over a mile. #11 This One’s For You is a horse to watch, huge improvement in the morning. #14 Savvy Seven finally dropped back to 1400 meters, good draw a boost too.
Selections: #14 Savvy Seven, #1 Witness Hunter, #4 My Power, #5 City Legend
#14 Savvy Seven
Race 7: Po Yee Handicap (Class 3, 1200M, Turf)
#2 Cruising is not the same horse anymore, don’t overestimate. #4 Endearing did well in trackwork, carrying 127 lbs will be a good sign. #5 Solar Wai Wai dropped back to 1200 meters is a good move with a weaker field. #6 Victoriam didn’t show enough progress during offseason, maybe need a run. #8 Invincible Missile has shown the reason why Chris So is not good enough, not really progress during offseason.
Selections: #5 Solar Wai Wai, #4 Endearing, #6 Victoriam, #8 Invincible Missile
Race 8: Po Yan Handicap (Class 2, 1200M, Dirt)
#1 Dragon General still can provide a massive turn of foot with the top weights, ran well last two races in group 3, did well in the trials. #2 Yee Cheong Baby had a huge run in the barrier trial, unbeaten in two races. #3 Elusive State is the best dirt specialist in Hong Kong, not heading to Korea but instead staying in Hong Kong for this race. #5 Speedy King has a good form but Alfie Chan cannot handle it. #11 Sunny Boy is getting mature and switching jockey is a good move.
Selections: #3 Elusive State, #2 Yee Cheong Baby, #11 Sunny Boy, #1 Dragon General
#3 Elusive State
Race 9: Seymour Handicap (Class 3, 1200M, Dirt)
#2 Coby Oppa is getting in shape, cutting 30 lbs this offseason, did extremely well in the trial. #3 Young Legend’s pedigree showed he is capable to run on this surface, gate 12 not a matter as his gate speed is fast. #5 Alcari showed he is fit, the only concern is the ratings, maybe a place chance. #6 Mega Heart is recovering thanks to Michael Cheng, showed well in trackwork. #8 Silver Fig is full of potential, but not easy to win. #10 Joyful Moments with an apprentice is definitely a horse to watch.
Selections: #2 Coby Oppa, #3 Young Legend, #6 Mega Heart, #10 Joyful Moments
#2 Coby Oppa
Race 10: Tai Ping Shan Handicap (Class 3, 1400M, Turf)
#3 Coby Boy did well in the morning but there is a doubt he can back to top form. #4 Huangshan will make his debut in Hong Kong, he should be a group horse if he was not suffering injuries. #6 Gold Win is one to watch, finally settled the environment here. #10 Comfort Life with gate 1 can be a horse to beat. #11 Craig’s Star with blinkers on for the first time will make him a better horse. #12 I Do dropping to 1400 meters is not really a good move.
Selections: #11 Craig’s Star, #10 Comfort Life, #6 Gold Win, #4 Huangshan
#11 Craig’s Star
Follow him on Twitter @nicklasyip
The new season begins as there are a couple new faces in Hong Kong.
13-time champion jockey, Douglas Whyte will begin his new career as a trainer.
While Australian Blake Shinn and South African Lyle Hewitson will join the rest of the familiar names in the jockey premiership ranks.
THINGS TO KNOW FOR THE 2019/2020 HONG KONG RACING SEASON
#1 Gold Velvet is a better horse in class 5 but Happy Valley is more suitable for this Savabeel son, a recent trial showed his fitness is improving, the jockey is the concern. #2 Le Panache finally relegated to class 5 after a long season to fight in class 4, Douglas Whyte is still learning in his new job as a trainer, can’t be overestimated. #3 Good Runners Way already showed his form last season and most of Battle Paint’s son in Hong Kong can be improved in the second season, Zac Purton on board also a boost. #4 Regency Gem is one to watch this season, with blinkers on and Joao Moreira partnered, he did extremely well in last barrier trial, this is the race he is waiting for. #5 Wicker is the full brother of Clement Legend, however, his trial showed he is not yet ready.
#4 Regency Gem
#1 Blade Racer had his career-best performance last timeout and dropped to class 5 means he can be the true contender in this race, Grant Van Niekerk on board with gate 5 so Blade Racer can settle midfield in a better position. #2 Kwai Chung Elite will be a better horse over 1400m and gate 14 is not easy for this Poet’s Voice son. #3 Curling Luxury is classy and he can upset the rest if Jack Wong does well in the early 200m. #5 Harbour Century will win on the dirt track. #7 Never Better is not easy to win with gate 14 even Zac on it. #9 Majestic Endeavour needs a couple runs to raise the fitness. #13 Adonis and #14 Leisured Feet cannot be overestimated.
EACH WAY BETS
#3 Curling Luxury
#1 Blade Racer
#1 Wishful Thinker with top weight is not easy to win, the same case as the former group 1 winner Season Bloom. #5 Regency Legend showed his class from last 3 starts, he is one of the top prospects in this season, his trial showed he is back in shape after the health issues. Question mark on #7 Styling City, unsure he is still capable to win in this rating.
#5 Regency Legend, #1 Wishful Thinker, #7 Styling City
#2 Falcon Turbo had a huge run last start when dropping to class 4, surely one to watch. #5 Top Score should be a better horse because Zac Purton rides it, the last start was a disaster. #10 Lucky Guy has a stall advantage as he just defeated to potential star Victoriam the last start. #11 What A Legend showed improvements from recent trials, his sister Stellar Collision is a group placegetter in Australia. #13 Nice Fandango is a dark horse as he showed his speed and stamina from recent trials. #14 Telecom Rocket is another horse to trial well with good form, but the gate is the concern, he probably sits with three wide without cover during race.
#5 Top Score
#1 Ex-Godolphin star Nathula, now renamed as Amazing Chocolate has dropped to class 4 for the first time, time to shine. #2 Pearl Champion without a top weight is always a real deal. #4 Royal Racer with gate 11 to put him out of any chance. #7 Chiu Chow Kid is not fit enough. #12 Dionysus Collin ran an impressive trial and he is one to watch in this race. #13 MR Magellan has pedigree-supported as most of Hinchinbrook son can perform better in 4 years old campaign, don’t forget his monster run the last start too. #11 Casimiro is the one to observe, a run is needed to judge his fitness.
#13 Mr Magellan
#1 Dancing Fighter ran well last start after a spell, 1000M may too short but he is too good in this race. #2 Allied Agility showed his real form in last start, don’t be overestimated. #4 Ka Ying Master also won a weak race on debut, now carrying 130 lbs surely affected his performance. #5 Sunshine Universe ran huge last start, all apprentices can handle well, will be a dark horse in this race. #6 Bright Kid is a horse to follow. #10 Super Winner did well in recent trials, Zac Purton needs to ride on Dancing Fighter so Matthew the “PoonTrain” will ride on it, pedigree well supported as well. #13 Winning Ways need a couple runs to improve.
#1 Dancing Fighter (Banker)
with #5 Sunshine Universe, #10 Super Winner, #13 Winning Ways
#1 Infinity Endeavour needs preparation to raise the fitness. #2 My Darling need more luck to win in this race. #3 Golden Sixty had a disappointing run last start over 1400M, dropping to 1200M may be a good move. #4 Happy Fun ran impressively in a recent trial, the jockey is not the concern with gate 1. #6 Mr Croissant is the best horse in trackwork and that’s why Zac Purton rides it.
#6 Mr Croissant
#1 Morethanlucky need a couple runs to raise the fitness. #2 Fast Most Furious can’t win it with that top weights. #4 King Opie continues to impress punters and he has a huge chance in this race. #6 Magic Legend can bounce back with these ratings. #10 Gold Chest is improving as he really settled the environment in Hong Kong.
#4 King Opie
#6 Magic Legend
#10 Gold Chest
#1 Multimillion can improve the form of jockey can put him in the lead. #3 Jing Jing Win with Zac Purton can produce more with 126 lbs. #6 Fairy Twins is the dark horse in this race as 121lbs with Aldo Domeyer with a good draw. #7 Winning Method just defeated by Aethero with not a huge margin, surely a horse to watch this season. #8 Super Junior cannot win in class 3.
#7 Winning Method (Banker)
with #6 Fairy Twins, #3 Jing Jing Win, #1 Multimillon
#1 Regency Bo Bo can be a real threat if he can go in the lead. #5 Cordyceps showed a huge improvement from barrier trial, he can settle in midfield with good cover. #7 World Famous with gate 3 can also run well, Aldo Domeyer can help World Famous to be settled during the trip. #9 Mongolian Legend ran huge last start, Joao Moreira definitely helps the horse with these ratings. #10 Beauty Day didn’t come up well in recent trackwork.
EACH WAY BETS
#1 Regency Bo Bo
#9 Mongolian Legend
|Entry||Horse||Aus Fixed Odds||Jockey||Trainer|
|1||Mr Buff||11-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Jose Lezcano
|2||Bal Harbour||18-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Javier Castellano
|4||Mongolian Groom||14-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Luis Saez
|5||Preservationist||3-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Junior Alvarado
|6||Forewarned||60-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Anthony Salgado
|Uriah St. Lewis|
|7||Yoshida (JPN)||6-5~ BET $25 RISK FREE HERE||Joel Rosario
|8||Wooderson||14-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Jose Ortiz
|9||Tom’s d’Etat||4-1~ BET $25 RISK-FREE HERE||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|Albert Stall, Jr.|
The $750,000, Grade 1 Woodward Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets is the closing Saturday showcase event at Saratoga’s summer meet.
The 1 1/8-mile Woodward is not a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series automatic qualifying race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but the race is still an important prep for the Classic and has historical significance in its own right, having been won by legends such as Kelso (three years in a row), Damascus, Forego (four years in a row), Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid (in a walkover), Cigar (twice in a row), Ghostzapper, Curlin, and Rachel Alexandra (10 years ago as the first filly to win the race).
This year’s 66th running of the Woodward drew nine horses and will be broadcast live on FS2 as part of NYRA’s “Saratoga Live” program presented by Runhappy, Claiborne Farm, and America’s Best Racing, and also on TVG. For more information, click here.
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
Trainer: John Kimmel
Owners: Chester and Mary Broman
Career record: 30 starts – 10 wins – 6 seconds – 4 thirds
Career earnings: $678,786
Earnings per start: $22,626
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 114
Pedigree: Friend Or Foe – Speightful Affair, by Speightstown
Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace
Notable achievements and interesting facts: In a Woodward field that, on paper, is largely devoid of speed, this workmanlike gelding deserves a look. He enters Saturday’s race off of two consecutive dominant wins in stakes races restricted to New York-breds: a 6 ¼-length score in the June 30 Saginaw Stakes at Belmont; and a 3 ½-length win in the Aug. 7 Evan Shipman Stakes at Saratoga. In those races, he raced to the lead early and was never threatened. Overall, Mr. Buff has been racing well for more than a year, winning seven of 11 starts since August 2018 – although it must be noted that his one poor performance came when elevated to open-graded stakes company in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on March 23. He pressed the pace through the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile race but fell back entering the stretch and stopped. He was walked off by jockey Junior Alvarado. Once back in New York and competing against fellow state-breds, the gelding has circled back to his best form. Obviously, he’ll face a class test even greater than the one he did in New Orleans on Saturday, but he’s 2-for-4 lifetime at Saratoga and has six career wins at 1 1/8 miles – both big positives. Alvarado has been aboard Mr. Buff for his prior five starts but will ride Preservationist in the Woodward. Trainer John Kimmel won the 2006 Woodward with Premium Tap.
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Red Oak Stable
Career record: 16 starts – 5 wins – 4 seconds – 2 thirds
Career earnings: $388,755
Earnings per start: $24,297
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 108
Pedigree: First Samurai – Casino Transaction, by Carson City
Running style: Stalker
Notable achievements and interesting facts: This multiple stakes winner nearly broke through and won his first graded stakes in his most recent start, losing by a head to veteran War Story in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup Stakes July 20. That race was held at 1 1/8 miles, and it was Bal Harbour’s best effort yet in three starts at that distance. He’ll try nine furlongs again in the Woodward and, although he’ll be one of the longest shots in Saturday’s race, he should be considered for inclusion in exotic bets based on his consistency and competitiveness. This horse has improved gradually throughout his career and has strung together seven triple-digit Equibase Speed Figures in a row. Plus, he has a good, stalking running style for the Woodward and should be positioned in an advantageous spot behind the pacesetters but in front of the deep closers as the field makes its way through the far turn. Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the Woodward three times with Lawyer Ron (2007), Quality Road (2010), and Liam’s Map (2015). Javier Castellano was aboard Liam’s Map in 2015, and the Hall of Famer has two other Woodward wins with the great Ghostzapper in 2004 and Shaman Ghost in 2016.
Jockey: Luis Saez
Trainer: Enebish Ganbat
Owner: Mongolian Stable
Career record: 14 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 3 thirds
Career earnings: $369,141
Earnings per start: $26,367
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 114
Pedigree: Hightail – Bourbonesque, by Dynaformer
Color: Dark bay or brown
Running style: Stalker/closer
Notable achievements and interesting facts: California-based Mongolian Groom ships across the country two weeks after running a decent, if nonthreatening, third behind impressive winner Higher Power in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar. Prior to that start, he’d run even better when finishing second by a length to top-class Catalina Cruiser in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap. This veteran gelding may actually have reached the best form of his career over the past several months, but he’s constantly been matched against graded stakes competition and has proven to be just a cut below that level. This will be his second race outside of California following a fifth-place finish in the Charles Town Classic back in April. If he takes to Saratoga’s track, he could sneak into the trifecta on Saturday, but anything better than that would be a surprise. This is the first Woodward Stakes appearance for Mongolian Groom’s ownership group and trainer.
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
Owner: Centennial Farms
Career record: 9 starts – 5 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds
Career earnings: $637,300
Earnings per start: $70,811
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 111
Pedigree: Arch – Flying Dixie, by Dixieland Band
Running style: Press the pace/stalker
Notable achievements and interesting facts: This lightly-raced 6-year-old tired to finish fourth in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 3, which was his first career start around two turns. Preservationist set the early pace in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney but had no punch in the stretch and checked in 7 ¾ lengths behind winner McKinzie. That halted a three-race winning streak, highlighted by a dominant 4 ½-length score in the Suburban Stakes going 1 ¼ mile around one full turn at Belmont Park. If Preservationist gained useful experience from his first two-turn start in the Whitney and can move forward off of that start in the Woodward at the same distance and track, he has a good shot at winning on Saturday. He should be forwardly placed early on, along with Tom’s d’Etat and Mr. Buff, ideally sitting just off the pace under regular rider Junior Alvarado. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens won the 2016 Woodward with Shaman Ghost.
Jockey: Anthony Salgado
Trainer: Uriah St. Lewis
Owner: Uriah St. Lewis
Career record: 18 starts – 6 wins – 4 seconds – 0 thirds
Career earnings: $245,613
Earnings per start: $13,645
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 104
Pedigree: Flat Out – Fortune Play, by Five Star Day
Running style: Closer
Notable achievements and interesting facts: Racing for owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis of Discreet Lover fame, Forewarned finished a well-beaten fifth at odds of 89-1 in his most recent start, the Whitney Stakes Aug. 3 at Saratoga, and then fell during the gallop out and unseated his jockey. That was his first graded stakes appearance in his 18th career start as he’d previously plied his trade in allowance races and stakes races restricted to Ohio-breds. As expected, the Whitney was a cavernous class jump for Forewarned, one he couldn’t successfully manage. The Woodward field lacks a superstar horse on the level of McKinzie but still appears too difficult a race for this hard-trying type to make much of an impact. He has posted three consecutive triple-digit Equibase Speed Figures, the first three of his career, and has been training steadily at his Parx Racing home base since his first trip to Saratoga. Uriah St. Lewis’s Discreet Lover finished 12th in last year’s Woodward, won by Yoshida, after posting a good third-place finish in the 2018 Whitney. Discreet Lover posted an upset in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in his first start following the Woodward.
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Bill Mott
Owners: China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, and Head of Plains Partners
Career record: 16 starts – 5 wins – 4 seconds – 0 thirds
Career earnings: $2,370,770
Earnings per start: $148,173
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 116
Pedigree: Heart’s Cry – Hilda’s Passion, by Canadian Frontier
Running style: Closer
Notable achievements and interesting facts: The defending Woodward Stakes winner returns on Saturday seeking to double up for his ownership group, and he’s got some momentum building having run a good second to McKinzie in the Aug. 3 Whitney Stakes at the Spa. He has not won in five starts since taking the 2018 Woodward by two lengths, but showed good determination to make up some ground on McKinzie (who’s generally regarded as the top older dirt male in training) and lost by 1 ¾ lengths in the Whitney. Yoshida in turn defeated third-place Vino Rosso by 4 ¾ lengths in the Whitney, and if he can build on that effort he has a great chance to score a repeat win in the Woodward. The field for last year’s Woodward was arguably tougher than what Yoshida will face on Saturday, and Joel Rosario, who was in the irons for both Yoshida’s 2018 Woodward win and his recent runner-up finish in the Whitney, retains the mount. Yoshida will need a fast early pace in the Woodward to develop in order to set up his closing rally, but he’s shown the ability to come from way out of the clouds while racing wide before (as in last year’s Woodward win) and he’s been at his best when paired with Rosario, winning two out of three career starts. Rosario picked up his first career win in the Woodward aboard Yoshida, and it was Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s fourth career victory, following wins by the legendary Cigar in 1995 and 1996 and by To Honor and Serve in 2012.
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Let’s Go Stable
Career record: 9 starts – 3 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds
Career earnings: $171,830
Earnings per start: $19,092
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 116
Pedigree: Awesome Again – Lotta Kim, by Roar
Running style: Stalker
Notable achievements and interesting facts: This half-brother (same dam [mother], different sire [father]) to 2009 Woodward winner and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra has shown improvement so far in his 4-year-old season but will need to take a giant leap forward to win Saturday’s Woodward. He won his first two starts of 2019 — a seven-furlong allowance race at Keeneland and then a 1 1/16-mile allowance-optional claiming race at Monmouth Park — but then ran a disappointing 10th in the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes won by Preservationist. In his most recent start, Wooderson rebounded to finish one length behind another Woodward foe, Tom’s d’Etat, when second in the Alydar Stakes on Aug. 2 at Saratoga. He earned a career-high 116 Equibase Speed Figure in the Alydar and, if he can repeat that effort against a tougher field, he could sneak into the Woodward exacta. Of note: he has run very well in three starts at the Spa, breaking his maiden and then losing by a half-length there last summer along with his runner-up finish in the Alydar. Todd Pletcher has won the Woodward three times with Lawyer Ron (2007), Quality Road (2010), and Liam’s Map (2015).
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Trainer: Al Stall Jr.
Owner: G M B Racing
Career record: 13 starts – 7 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third
Career earnings: $716,892
Earnings per start: $55,146
Top Equibase Speed Figure: 118
Pedigree: Smart Strike – Julia Tuttle, by Giant’s Causeway
Running style: Press the pace
Notable achievements and interesting facts: This talented racehorse may finally be on the cusp of breaking through and securing his first graded stakes win in his 6-year-old season. He made a lasting impression to fans and horseplayers just over three years ago, when he broke his maiden in his third career start by four lengths at Saratoga. But then Tom’s d’Etat missed an extended period of time due to minor injuries, a storyline that would repeat itself again in 2017-18 when he was away for more than 13 months. In December 2018, he won his first listed stakes and then competed in three consecutive graded stakes to start off 2019, finishing second to McKinzie in the Alysheba Stakes Presented by Sentient Jet and third to Seeking the Soul and Quip in the Stephen Foster Stakes, both Grade 2 races at Churchill Downs. He then won his second career stakes race, the listed Alydar Stakes, by a comfortable length at Saratoga on Aug. 2. Based on the career-best 118 Equibase Speed Figure Tom’s d’Etat earned in the Alydar, he looms as a major win candidate in the Woodward, especially since he excels when racing on or near the lead and his two most accomplished foes – Yoshida and Vino Rosso – are deep closers. Joel Rosario was aboard Tom’s d’Etat in the Alydar but will ride Yoshida in the Woodward, and Irad Ortiz Jr., currently second in Saratoga’s competitive jockey standings, picks up the mount.
He was struggling ever so badly for about the 1st 1000m of the 1200m race, but SOMEHOW Dutch Decoy finds top gear for a remarkable success for Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey!
CHECK OUT THE WIN….
DUTCH DECOY comes from a furlong behind to win the Ladbrokes Play 1-2-FREE Nursery Handicap at Hamilton!
What a performance pic.twitter.com/1bWnamiG4u
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) August 30, 2019
Fucking hell ! Dutch Decoy.
— Ste.A (@sarm0161) August 30, 2019
How on earth has Dutch Decoy won that at Hamilton?
— GetYourTipsOut (@GetYourTipsOut) August 30, 2019
Double up. Dutch Decoy flew home after coming from a long way back to win at Ayr under Paul Hanagan. Well done to Cheveley Park Stud
— Richard Fahey (@RichardFahey) August 30, 2019
How did Dutch decoy get up there ?!
— Matthew Sheeran (@mattysheeran2) August 30, 2019
1st Dutch Decoy 11/2
2nd Kayewhykelly 17/2
3rd What A Business 5/1
— Horse Racing Results (@Racing_Results_) August 30, 2019
Paul hanagan on Dutch decoy 😳🏇🏼
— Robin Galbraith (@robin6024) August 30, 2019
Tailed off at half way, Dutch Decoy comes from last to nabbed it on the line. pic.twitter.com/fDCubqsOAZ
— Bet Angel (@betangel) August 30, 2019
Was ready to turn off the race at the furlong pole 😂
Nice to get a winner on the board, had enough of 2nds, if Dutch Decoy got beat in a photo there I’d be devastated, and heartbroken. Wins at 11/2 SP 👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/8GQQWm5zfZ
— Jay (@TracksideJay) August 30, 2019
|1||Proven Reserves||30-1 Bet Now||Manuel Franco
|2||Tiz Morning||50-1 Bet Now||Dylan Davis
|3||Noble Thought||30-1 Bet Now||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|4||Channel Cat||5-1 Bet Now||Luis Saez
|5||Pillar Mountain (IRE)||10-1 Bet Now||John Velazquez
|6||Ya Primo (CHI)||7-2 Bet Now||Jose Ortiz
|7||Annals of Time||5-2 Bet Now||Javier Castellano
|8||Channel Maker||3-1 Bet Now||Joel Rosario
|9||Sadler’s Joy||9-2 Bet Now||Jose Lezcano
The best racing of the Saratoga meet happens Saturday! Get up to $100 in bonus cash with a winners bonus in every race. Plus if you make a contest bet in every race, you’ll get 15% Winsurance on your losses!
#10 Sadler’s Joy – This 5-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy is the class of this field and won this race a year ago by a 1/2-length over Money Multiplier. That win led to a fourth-place finish in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf to round out his season. He has only one victory in 2018 but has hit the board in three straight tough races. The defending champion will have a big shot to repeat.
#3 Funtastic – Trainer Chad Brown has this horse running fantastic with back-to-back wire-to-wire wins coming into this race. Two back, he defeated allowance company at Belmont Park before shipping to Monmouth Park and winning the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes. He will be looking for his second straight Grade 1 win in this race.
#2 Spring Quality – Trainer Graham Motion always garners respect in these types of races, especially with a horse that has won 2 of his last 3 starts. His most recent was definitely the biggest of his career in the Manhattan, which he took by a neck at odds of 18-1. Several horses that ran in the Manhattan have already come back to win, including Robert Bruce in the Grade 1 Arlington Million and Fashion Business in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Spring Quality scratched out of the Arlington Million in order to run in this spot.
#4 Hi Happy – This horse was having a tremendous year before a non-effort last time out in the Bowling Green over this track. Before that, he had won 2 of 4 this year while hitting the board in every start, and three starts back, he picked up his first Grade 1 victory in the Man O’ War Stakes while following that up with a solid third-place effort in the Manhattan. Perhaps the soft turf in the Bowling Green bothered him, so if he can get back to his best race, then he could certainly win here.
#7 Channel Maker – Last time was certainly exciting as Channel Maker and Glorious Empire hit the wire together for a dead heat in the Bowling Green. Channel Maker closed furiously on the front-running Glorious Empire there and can do the same here if the early pace sets up well for him. His strategy is always the same: drop to the back of the pack and make one giant run at the end.
#6 Bigger Picture – He always puts up consistent efforts, especially at Saratoga, where he was third in this race a year ago. He opened 2018 with a win in a Grade 3 race at Sam Houston, and two races ago, he was third in the United Nations. He will drop to the back of the pack and make one big run at the end, so a hot pace would be to his favour.
#5 Highland Sky – The son of Sky Mesa has been a familiar face in this division for years and is set to give it another go in this tough spot. He nearly won the 2016 Grade 1 Belmont Derby and was defeated by just a neck, so he has some back class. Two races ago, he defeated allowance company at Belmont Park, and last time out, he was fifth in the Bowling Green. That race was contested over a soft turf course, so like Hi Happy, perhaps he did not care for the surface.
#1 Glorious Empire – This horse is red-hot with two straight victories, including the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes last time out over this track at odds of 22-1. The rain has played a major factor at Saratoga this year, including in that last race, where the turf was very soft. Right now, the forecast calls for sunny skies, but if it rains, we know that this horse won’t mind the give in the ground.
#9 Revved Up – He is no stranger to big races, and last time out, he was a solid second in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap behind Divisidero. That horse came back to run a decent third here two weeks ago in the Grade 1 Fourstardave Stakes.
#8 Seahenge – He ships to the United States for the third straight time after failed attempts in his previous two efforts. It has been a long time since this horse has seen the winner’s circle, and this spot looks to be very difficult for him once again.