From the Spa: August 15 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
The second running of the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes comes to the Spa on Saturday, August 15th in the eighth race, right before the Grade I Alabama. While the eight horse field will be headlined by 7/5 morning line favorite Decorated Invader, any runner is good enough to reach the winner’s circle, capturing the $500,000 purse. The rare mile and three sixteenth distance on the turf makes this race unique to all of the entries, and should level the playing field even more with most used to going shorter. In such an evenly-matched group, our Midlantic bred Field Pass has as good a chance as any to win his first race at Saratoga since breaking his maiden last year, and should be able to build off of an impressive three year old campaign that already includes two open stakes wins and two Grade III victories in five starts.
Bred in Maryland by Mark Brown Grier, Field Pass is a grey three year old colt by Lemon Drop Kid – Only Me, by Runaway Groom, who will break from post seven. He became familiar with the Spa last summer, nearly winning the Grade III With Anticipation Stakes after finishing first in his two year old maiden try at a mile and one sixteenth on the turf. While Field Pass has never run past a mile and an eighth, trainer Michael Maker sees this race as a good opportunity to continue his string of strong performances, and knows his colt has the versatility to adjust to any type of pace scenario which may arise during the race. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione will return to the irons after guiding Field Pass to a wire to wire victory in the Audubon Stakes at Churchill Downs two tries back in June, and may look for a repeat front-running score here. While this could be the toughest test yet for Field Pass, his career record and ability to always put in strong efforts will certainly have him in the mix late. Field Pass is owned by Three Diamonds Farm and has morning line odds of 6/1.