From the Spa: August 21 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 21st brings us the featured John’s Call Stakes in the fourth race at Saratoga, with a seven horse field who will run the long distance of one and five eighth miles on the turf. These entries are all three years old and up, and have not won a graded stakes on the turf this year. Some, however, are taking a step up in class after strong performances against weaker fields, including Nakamura, a four year old gelding breaking from the six post who is coming off three straight wins including a recent optional claimer at the Spa just four days ago. Clearly with the quick turnaround, this Maryland bred by Animal Kingdom – I’m Always Hopeful, by Arch is in top form and ready to extend his winning streak this year to four in as many tries.
Nakamura is owned by Staghawk Stables and was purchased for $110,000 as a yearling, a price tag which is finally starting to pay off with his recent string of success and improvement in his four year old season. Having only one career win in eight tries prior to this year, Nakamura’s surface and distance was switched a few times by trainer Graham Motion, who then returned him to longer turf tries where he has found his footing. His recent string of success is not just by chance, however, as Motion has added top jockeys in Jose Ortiz last time, and Javier Castellano in this upcoming effort, a jockey that he has won three races in four attempts with in this meet alone. These connections make it no mystery that even in a field with some graded stakes placers, Nakamura has morning line odds of 4/1. Even so, the quick turnaround and step up in difficulty means this bay gelding will need to continue his recent improvement to find himself and his connections in the winner’s circle. Nakamura was bred by The Elkstone Group LLC.