The 2yo racing action at Saratoga and Del Mar has been stellar over the last couple of days, with several more promising youngsters stamping themselves as horses to watch during the coming months. In particular, a couple of colts really stood out on Saturday at Del Mar. Let’s take a quick look at what happened!
Saratoga Race 6: Maiden Special Weight for New York-bred Fillies
5.5 furlongs on dirt
The first-time starter She’s All Ready was bet as though she couldn’t lose, being sent off at 2.35-1 off her 8-1 morning line odds, and it turned out that the money was right! Trained by James Ryerson, the daughter of Girolama sprinted clear of her eight rivals through an opening quarter-mile in :22.28, then easily cruised away through a half-mile in :45.87 to leave her rivals behind and cross the wire in front by 8 1/4 lengths while eased up late. The final time was a sharp 1:04.63 seconds. What a performance! 48.75-1 shot Legends of Lorelei rallied from last to finish second by a nose in a promising debut, while Todd Pletcher’s Surprise Cameo tracked the pace before tiring to finish third.
Saratoga Race 2: Maiden Special Weight
8.5 furlongs on turf
The favorite was Chad Brown’s first-timer starter Deeply Undervalued, but after tracking a modest pace and racing wide into the stretch, the colt tired to finish sixth by 10 1/2 lengths. In the meantime, Monster Bea–coming off of a fourth-place finish in a maiden race at Presque Isle Downs–secured an easy lead while carving out fractions of :23.48, :48.03, and 1:11.88 before successfully turning back a stretch bid from Matt King Coal to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Trained by Adam Rice, the gelded son of Hat Trick stopped the clock in 1:41.72. Conquest Windcity put in a late run from sixth to finish second by a length, while Matt King Coal tired to finish third after leading past the eighth pole.
Saratoga Race 3: Maiden Special Weight
6 furlongs on dirt
Chad Brown’s Economic Model was the slight favorite at 2.90-1 and unleashed an impressive late rally to score in convincing fashion. With Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle, Economic Model settled about three lengths behind through fractions of :22.50 and :45.79 and still trailed by two lengths passing the eighth pole, but kicked on strongly in deep stretch to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths in the time of 1:11.01 seconds. Set the Trappe, an Anthony Dutrow-trained first-time starter that was sent off at 2.95-1, battled for the early lead and seized a clear lead in the homestretch before tiring late to finish second. Still, this was a very promising debut performance, and considering that Anthony Dutrow’s runners usually improve in their second start, Set the Trappe could be one to watch in the future. Star Hill overcame a bit of a troubled trip to rally from sixth and just miss second by a head, and definitely looks like a colt that will improve with more distance. Add him to your watch list!
Del Mar Race 3: Maiden Special Weight
6.5 furlongs on dirt
Young Brian was very well-regarded coming into the race and more than lived up to expectations with a stunning triumph. After breaking slowly and rushing up to track early fractions of :22.70 and :46.45, the son of Hard Spun seized command under a hand ride and opened up a four-length lead passing the eighth pole, an advantage he only extended as he cruised easily to the finish line. He reached the wire in the time of 1:17.10 seconds while winning by 10 1/4 lengths — wow! Trained by Philip D’Amato, Young Brian looks like one of the early favorites for the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) at Del Mar on September 7th. Letithappen rallied from fifth to finish a clear-cut second by 4 1/2 lengths over Bob Baffert’s second-time starter Toews On Ice, who tracked the pace before tiring to finish third.
Del Mar Race 5: Best Pal Stakes (gr. II)
6.5 furlongs on dirt
Nyquist was heavily-favored to back up his impressive maiden win with a graded stakes score, and he did so in impressive fashion. The Doug O’Neill-trained runner flashed speed from the start while dueling stablemate Found Money through fractions of :22.82 and :46.65, then drew off under urging to win by 5 1/4 lengths in 1:16.84 seconds. His time was slightly quicker than Young Brian ran two races earlier, but it’s worth noting that Nyquist had a good trip and was under urging to the finish, whereas Young Brian got off to a slow start and was eased up late. Swipe, coming off a stakes win at Los Alamitos, rallied from fifth to edge Annie’s Candy by a half-length for second.