From the Spa: September 1 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.
September 1st is the last Saturday of the 2018 Saratoga meet, featuring the Grade I Woodward Stakes among three others on the twelve race card. In large fields of at least nine entries in each stakes race, it is no wonder why there are multiple Mid-Atlantic breds taking a shot at adding another stakes win to their already strong resumes. While both our entries were bred in New Jersey and are being slightly overlooked with long morning line odds, there is no doubt that if they run their best race, they can find their way into the winner’s circle. Here is a look at each entry.
In the ninth race, the $300,000 Grade III Saranac Stakes, Golden Brown will break from the four post at morning line odds of 12/1. Run at a mile and an eighth on the turf, the Saranac should be a good spot for this three year old colt by Offlee Wild – Suzee Sunrise, by Chester House, who most recently ran in the Grade I Haskell Invitational on the dirt. When looking at Golden Brown’s past tries, his two on the turf were his most impressive, including a Grade III win in the Kent Stakes at Delaware Park in early July. This makes the switch back to turf a good decision by trainer Patrick McBurney who will keep jockey Jairo Rendon in the irons for the fourth race in a row. Hopefully, the surface change and slight drop in class are all this dark brown colt needs to pick up his second Grade III win of his career and his fourth win this year. Golden Brown was bred by Esther de Long and is owned by Ashley Jones, Louis Carr, Dominic Bossone, Peter Donnelly, and Jacob Schnoor Jr.
The eleventh race is the $750,000 Grade I Woodward Stakes for three year olds and upward run at a mile and an eighth on the dirt. With fourteen entries and no clear favorite, this race should be very close and wide-open. Even with morning line odds of 8/1, our other New Jersey bred, Sunny Ridge, has as good a chance to win as any; although breaking from the twelve post will certainly be a challenge. Challenges, however, are something Sunny Ridge has become familiar with, most recently making a three wide bid after breaking from the inside post in the State Dinner Stakes at Belmont in early July. In that race, this five year old grey gelding was able to overtake the post time favorite Timeline at the top of the stretch and continue to pull away from the rest of the field, winning by three and a quarter lengths. Returning to the irons from that try for trainer Jason Servis is Saratoga’s leading jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who looks to capture his second Saratoga riding title since last winning in 2015. With a win here for owner and breeder Dennis Drazin, Irad will not only add another marquee win to his strong year, but will also give Sunny Ridge his first Grade I victory. Sunny Ridge has career earnings of $1,024,402 and is by Holy Bull – Lignum Vitae, by Songandaprayer.