From the Spa: July 28 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 Grade II Honorable Miss Handicap is featured on Wednesday’s Saratoga card in the ninth race. Scheduled to be run at six furlongs on the dirt, this $200,000 race for fillies and mares four years old and up has a solid field of nine with every entry having won at least $100,000 lifetime. Still relatively lightly raced with $135,000 in career earnings is Don’t Call Me Mary, a 12/1 morning line longshot who has won four races in eight tries with two seconds. That fifty percent clip puts her ahead of her peers in this field, and makes this Pennsylvania bred filly by El Padrino – Monette, by Not for Love very dangerous in this spot. Breaking from the six post, Don’t Call Me Mary has the red hot Luis Saez in the irons partnered with the always solid Todd Pletcher as her trainer. With these connections and her consistency finding the winner’s circle, Don’t Call Me Mary looks to show that she belongs with this group and can compete at the stakes level.
Bred by Richard Simoff, Don’t Call Me Mary seems to have taken a step forward in her four year old season, winning her last two by four lengths relatively easily. Whenever she breaks strong and near the lead, she finishes well, which shows her need to be involved in the race early. With three or four others in this group that will vie for the early lead, Don’t Call Me Mary may need to sit in fourth as she did last time, but no further than three to four lengths behind the leader. With an aggressive rider in Luis Saez, she will likely be near the front, trying to hit the board and recoup some of her $150,000 price tag for her owners The Elkstone Group LLC. Don’t Call Me Mary enters this race off a short layoff, which usually bodes well for her racing performance, but will still need to take another step forward in her stakes debut to be competitive here.