From the Spa: August 20 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes
“From the Spa,” written by our on-site correspondent Joe Aiello, III, returns to keep you up-to-date on horses bred in the mid-Atlantic racing in Saratoga stakes.
Saturday August 20th features a trio of Mid-Atlantic breds at the Spa; two in the $100,000 Troy Stakes, and one in the featured $600,000 Grade I Alabama.
The Troy Stakes is a five and one half furlong sprint on the turf with the only victorious Midlantic-bred in a stake at Saratoga this meet, Long On Value. Coming off a strong victory in the Lucky Coin Stakes, Virginia-bred Long On Value will look to capture his second win at Saratoga and his seventh stakes race. By Value Plus – Long Message, by Orientate, this brown five-year-old horse is over $670,000 in career earnings for owners George J. Kerr and Wachtel Stable. Joel Rosario rides Long On Value for trainer William I. Mott, who commonly uses Joel as his top Saratoga jockey. Bred by Snow Lantern Thoroughbreds, this 3/1 morning line second choice should have a good chance of winning the Troy Stakes.
The other Mid-Atlantic entry in the Troy is not receiving quite the attention as Long on Value, as reflected by his morning line odds of 8/1. Bred in New Jersey by New Farm, who also own the six-year-old horse, Rainbow Heir is a multiple stakes race winner by Wildcat Heir – Rainbow Pride, by Prospectors Gamble with almost half a million in earnings. When looking at his career statistics, the horse’s accomplishments seem almost identical to Long On Value, but he is lacking one thing that has been hard to come by for most Mid-Atlantic breds, a victory at Saratoga. Despite the lack of a win in Upstate New York, Rainbow Heir will be counted on by trainer Jason Servis and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr to run well in the Troy Stakes.
Our last Mid-Atlantic entry is in the one mile and one quarter Grade I Alabama Stakes for three year old fillies. Named in honor of William Cottrell, a horse breeder from Mobile, Alabama, the Alabama Stakes is Saratoga’s premier race for sophomore fillies and the filly counterpart to the Midsummer Derby, the Travers Stakes. Our Mid-Atlantic entry is one with long morning line odds of 20/1, but her breeding and talent cannot be denied. Sired by Pioneerof the Nile, the same sire as last year’s popular Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, Dark Nile surely has good bloodlines to go along with dam Royal Society and Travers- and Preakness-winning broodmare sire Bernardini. Much like Pharoah, Dark Nile lost her first race but has continued to win her next four starts including two stakes races, most recently the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks. Bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC., Dark Nile is owned by WinStar Farm LLC and trained by Arnaud Delacour. Jockey Joe Bravo will certainly have his hands full trying to run down the 1/9 morning line favorite Songbird, but Dark Nile certainly has the lineage, if nothing else, to give the undefeated filly a run for her money.