From the Spa: August 17 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
Saturday, August 17th is Alabama day at the Spa, featuring two other stakes races before the Grade I Alabama in the Grade II Lake Placid and the Smart N Fancy. While there have been less Mid-Atlantic bred entries in stakes this year compared to years past, the $100,000 Smart N Fancy will have a West Virginia bred, Ruby Notion, breaking from the outside nine post. As is the case with most horses coming from out of town, Ruby Notion will have long morning line odds of 12/1, despite drawing a top jockey in Javier Castellano. These odds may be more a result of her inability to hit the board in three tries this year rather than her connections, but ultimately, this six year old mare will need to revert to form to prove that she isn’t past her racing prime.
Ruby Notion is trained by Darrin Miller and owned by Silverton Hill LLC, who was also her breeder. She has not won a race since September, when she won a Grade III at Kentucky Downs at six and a half furlongs on the turf. Before that win, she ran in the Caress Stakes at Saratoga, upsetting the field at odds of 27/1, and doing so at a more familiar distance of five and one half furlongs on the turf. This try in the Smart N Fancy will also be at five and a half on the turf, allowing Ruby Notion to cut back to a distance more suitable to her stalking running style. Perhaps this distance change will spark Ruby Notion to turn back the clock and provide another shocking performance at the Spa, adding to her nearly half a million in career earnings. Ruby Notion is by Great Notion – Modena Bay(NZ), by Volksraad(GB)