From the Spa: August 23 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes
by Joseph Aiello
“From the Spa” returns to keep you up-to-date on horses bred in the mid-Atlantic racing in Saratoga stakes.
Wednesday, August 23 at Saratoga features two stakes races, one in the first race, the Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes over hurdles, and the other in the eighth, the John’s Call Stakes. The Michael G. Walsh will be our race of interest, with a pair of six-year-olds bred in the Mid-Atlantic entered. This race is a 2 3/8 miles hurdle on the turf for four-year-olds and upwards.
Drawing the inside post is Wigwam Baby, a Pennsylvania-bred who is the only mare in the field. She has already had a try at the Spa this meet, finishing second in the Miss Ogden Phipps Stakes for trainer and owner Jonathon E. Sheppard, who also happens to be one of the breeders along with William L. Pape. While Sheppard has trained this mare for her entire career, she has gone through many jockeys and is in the midst of another jockey change for this race. In the Miss Ogden Phipps, Wigwam Baby was under the guide of Darren Nagle, but adds Gustav Dahl in the irons for this race. Wigwam Baby, a mare by Langfuhr – Tepee Tot, by Waquoit, is 5-1 on the morning line.
The other Midlantic-bred, Curve of Stones, draws the outside post, but unlike Wigwam Baby, is 30/1. Curve of Stones is a grey gelding by Arch – Exceptionality, by El Prado (IRE) and was bred in Virginia by Audley Farm. He has yet to run at Saratoga, and also has not found a win this year. While it may seem on the surface that this gelding has very little chance with such long odds, his yearling sale price of $160,000 suggests that he has some talent and intrigue. Currently owned by Sarah Rebecca Shepherd and trained by David M. Bourke, Curve of Stones will keep jockey Michael Mitchell for this race.