From the Spa: August 10 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 seven furlong Tale of the Cat Stakes is the eighth race on this Wednesday’s Saratoga card with a small field of five runners. The Tale of the Cat is exclusively for older horses who have not won a graded stakes race this year, with a purse of $135,000. Even though a few in this field have already amassed solid career earnings, this would mark a milestone victory for all the contestants who have struggled to win against tougher stakes competition. It would also be a breakthrough victory for Repo Rocks, a four year old gelding bred in Virginia who has already raced five times at the Spa, picking up a place and two shows. As the most familiar with the Spa dirt course in this field, Repo Rocks seems to have a leg up on his competition, but still starts at the “long” odds of 9/2 on the morning line. A recent tune-up in the Grade II John A. Nerud Stakes and some very sharp bullet works gives the appearance of a horse that is ready for a top-flight effort, and with a nice stalking trip, this looks like one that should be taken serious as the potential longest shot on the board.
Breaking from the four post, Repo Rocks tries his second straight race at seven furlongs after a distant third to Life Is Good in the John A. Nerud at Belmont. Seeing Life Is Good go gate to wire in the Grade I Whitney this past weekend makes that finish look a bit better, as Repo Rocks should see improvement with the class drop here. He also came out of that effort and put in two head-turning works for trainer Gregory DiPrima, most recently running four furlongs over the Belmont track in forty-seven and two-fifths. Still, reaching the winner’s circle in stakes company has been a challenge for Repo Rocks recently, and in a small field such as this, positioning will be crucial here. Pennsylvania-based jockey Andrew Wolfsont will return to Saratoga for the first time since 2015, which may be a tough adjustment facing more seasoned riders, but keeping his runner close enough to the lead should give him a chance in the stretch. It may take a career best effort for this gelding by Tapiture – Hawaiian Love, by Not For Love to best the others here, but he is clearly ready for the challenge and in top condition here. Repo Rocks was bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III and is owned by Double B Racing Stables