From the Spa: July 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 of Saratoga’s opening weekend features the Grade III Sanford Stakes and Grade I Diana. After a solid third for Jaxon Traveler in the Quick Call on Thursday, two more Midlantic breds will be taking a shot at the Spa in the Sanford. With a well-stocked twelve horse field, the Sanford doesn’t appear to be an easy spot for these entries to have a breakout win, but both entering in good form off of wins sets them up for another strong effort. The Sanford is a six furlong dirt sprint for two year olds, with all runners holding one victory at the maiden level. Maybe our pair of entries will find a way to separate themselves from the rest by picking up their first stakes win and kicking off a successful meet for our other Midlantic stakes competitors.
Bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC and breaking from the five post is Dance Code, a two year old colt by Honor Code – Dancinginthestreet, by Street Boss. Dance Code comes out of a narrow win at Parx running four and a half furlongs in a maiden special weight. His running style shows speed, and with others in here who will be near the front, jockey Jose Lezcano will need to be aggressive early stretching this Juan Vazquez trainee out in distance. With a few others who have more impressive wins, Dance Code is flying under the radar with morning line odds of 12/1 and certainly needs to take a step up for owners Richie’s World Stable LLC to be a true contender here.
From the six post at slightly shorter morning line odds of 10/1 is Maryland Brando, a dark brown two year old colt owned by Bell Gable Stable LLC. As the name suggests, he was bred in Maryland by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds LLC and is coming off a dominant eleven length victory is his maiden try at Delaware Park. By Flatter – Apple Cider, by More Than Ready, Maryland Brando sold for a whopping $250,000 as a yearling, and has already shown the potential that comes with that hefty price tag. Nevertheless, this field should be more difficult than the one he faced in his five furlong debut, and will certainly not be an easy repeat victory. Keeping jockey Carol Cedeno in the irons may help in adjusting to the Saratoga track, as she travels to the Spa with Maryland Brando as her only mount on the day. Trainer Gary Contessa should be pleased with his colt’s bullet workout at four furlongs less than a week ago at Delaware Park, and hopes that Maryland Brando has another award-winning performance in him in the Sanford.