From the Spa: September 2 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 $150,000 Lucky Coin Stakes is run annually at Saratoga at five and one half furlongs on the turf. It is exclusively for older horses four years old and up, which puts it as a good prep race for some under-the-radar runners aiming for the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint in early November. Our Midlantic bred of interest, The Critical Way, is the most experienced runner in the Lucky Coin field, with thirty-one lifetime starts and ten victories as an eight year old gelding. Breaking from the two post, The Critical Way enters with some good backclass, including a near victory in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on Preakness day at Pimlico a year ago. This gelding by Tizway – Critical Factor, by Star De Naskra typically employs a front-running style where he tries to outrace the field from gate to wire. Getting Luis Saez back in the irons here should help him bounce back from a tough loss last time, as he tries his first effort over Saratoga’s turf course. Unlike many of the Midlantic breds this meet, The Critical Way will likely not be overlooked here, typically being bet to post time favorite and starting here at morning line odds of 4/1 in a field of eight non MTO runners.
Bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm LLC, The Critical Way continues under the guidance of trainer Jose Delgado, who enters his first horse at the Spa with his only career graded stakes winner. Delgado typically trains horses to run at Parx and Monmouth, and picked up the Grade III Parx Dash last August with The Critical Way, making this entry the only graded winner in the Lucky Coin field. That win along with his experience could make Delgado’s first introduction to training at the Spa a good one, while giving owners Monster Racing Stables a landmark victory. Even if The Critical Way seems to enter here as an outsider, all signs point to him having as good a chance as any with a leg up in seasoning and early speed among this field.