From the Spa: August 14 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
Sunday, August 14th is the fourth running of the Mahony Stakes at Saratoga for three year olds run at five and half furlongs on the turf. While we still await a Midlantic bred winner in a stakes race this meet, the oft overlooked Determined Kingdom enters in the outside seven post, once again flying under the radar at morning line odds of 20/1. Bred in Virginia by Audley Farm Equine LLC, Determined Kingdom may not have the graded class of some others here and has faced some weaker fields, but still boasts a four for five record at this distance and is a winner of his last two. This gelding by Animal Kingdom – Filia, by Fastnet Rock (AUS) most recently won a stakes race at Colonial Downs by five and a half lengths and appears to be in the best form of his career. His mid-pack running style may bode well in this group with a pair to his inside who like to vie for the early lead, and will give jockey Trevor McCarthy some targets to aim at. With the right trip, this is one that could be very competitive despite the long morning-line odds.
Trained by Phil Schoenthal, who is also the part owner with D Hatman Thoroughbreds, Determined Kingdom is already one of the higher earners of this field and was purchased for a relatively modest $47,000 as a yearling. He is still the only one to go off at post time odds of over 20/1 twice in his career, but was bet to favorite for the first time in his most recent win. Maybe that will signal a turning of the tides for Determined Kingdom, but he is still likely to be under-respected by the betting public until he beats a classy field such as this. A win at Saratoga would also mark a milestone for Phil Schoenthal, who has yet to saddle a winner at the Spa and more frequently enters at Midlantic tracks. A strong performance here could be a good launching point for Determined Kingdom going forward and perhaps have his connections thinking of taking a step up into graded company. For now, let’s look forward to a strong effort in what could be a career-defining performance for all involved.