From the Spa: August 4 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 Shine Again is an ungraded stakes race run since 2006 which occurs annually at Pimlico over the dirt course at a mile and one sixteenth. For Maryland-bred fillies and mares three years old and up, this race was named after Shine Again, a highly successful Maryland bred runner who retired with over one million in earnings and two wins in the Grade I Ballerina at Saratoga. With so much success at the Spa, it makes sense that there is another stakes race named in her honor there. Holding the same title, the “other” Shine Again Stakes also runs annually at Saratoga, but began in 2013 and is a seven furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. As the eighth race on Wednesday’s Saratoga card, the Shine Again has a small field of six, with two Midlantic long shots who are looking to find the winner’s circle in their first tries at the Spa.
From the three post is Bronx Beauty, a 10/1 morning line mare bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC. Still running at six, this grey mare has had plenty of experience with twenty nine career starts, winning ten of those and hitting the board in another eight. While she hasn’t had as much success recently, Bronx Beauty adds a top rider in Irad Ortiz Jr. who will team up with trainer Anthony Margotta Jr. for just the third time in the past year. While they haven’t won together in those tries, a recent bullet four furlong work in late June at Monmouth should give them plenty of hope that Bronx Beauty will be in top form heading into her eleventh straight stakes effort. Owned by Richard T. Woll, Bronx Beauty is by Liaison – Forever Sunshine, by Rockport Harbor.
On the outside is the six, Whispering Pines, a four year old filly owned by Hunter A. Rankin and Papapson Stables. Still lightly raced with just nine tries, this filly will keep the other Ortiz brother, Jose, in the irons after an allowance victory at Belmont in early June. Whispering Pines showed a strong final kick in the stretch of that effort, pulling away from her six competitors to win by three and a quarter at seven furlongs. While she will clearly need to improve from that race with this step up in class, trainer Horacio DePaz has become no stranger at getting Midlantic runners into form for the Saratoga meet, already having two winners this year in nine attempts. Whispering Pines could just be his next runner to greatly improve in a tough spot, and even with her morning line odds of 12/1, the strong Ortiz-DePaz winning percentage cannot be overlooked. Whispering Pines is by Uncle Mo – Walkwithapurpose, by Candy Ride (ARG), and was bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm.