HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch- Sanford

Sanford Stakes at Saratoga

Fashion AlertThis Saturday we actually have 2 two year old stakes up for your consideration. The most important is the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. As an added bonus for this edition of the 2 Year Old Stakes Watch I’ll also be covering the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at Prairie Meadows. Before we jump into that, let’s take a look at Friday’s results in the CTBA at Del Mar and the Schuylerville at Saratoga. In the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga, favorite Fashion Alert won by 1 ½ lengths over Take Charge Brandi. In the CTBA at Del Mar, our value play My Fiona held on by a neck to beat the favorite, Lost Bus. My Fiona paid $13.00 for the win. Now let’s take a look at Saturday’s 2 year olds.

Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes

Aggressive BeautyThe $75,000 Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes is the 8th race on the card at Prairie Meadows on Saturday and will feature a field of 10 two year old fillies sprinting 5 ½ furlongs. The morning line favorite at 9 to 2 is M B Prize. M B Prize won her debut at Prairie Meadows on June 21st by 3 3/4 lengths in a straight maiden 39k over 5 furlongs gamely. She won that race on the lead from start to finish and will likely try to do the same here. Unfortunate for her, there will be quite a few here who will do the same and are right at or near the speed she set in that career opener. That means a speed duel should likely break out, lending room for a stalker to nab the victory. For value, I’m going with Aggressive Beauty at 5 to 1 on the ML. Not only does she have the running style and speed I am looking for, she also has stakes experience having placed in her last outing in the ATBA Spring Sales Stakes at Turf Paradise back in May. For a longshot, I’m willing to give Hero On Saturday the nod at 12 to 1 on the morning line. She made an impressive rally for the win and although her speed isn’t quite where it should be for this field, she only needed to run as fast as the fillies in front of her in that last race. Her closing kick is strong and I look for another strong rally here.

Saratoga Sanford Stakes

Cinco CharlieThe $150,000 Grade 3 Sanford Stakes is the 7th race on the card at Saratoga Saturday and will spotlight a field of 9 two year olds traveling 6 furlongs. The 2 to 1 morning line favorite is Cinco Charlie. Cinco Charlie is undefeated in 2 starts and most recently won the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths. But much like the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes, there are a lot of front runners here, which is almost always the case in these early 2 year old races. Cinco Charlie earned the highest speed rating in this field with that performance, so for front end speed to tire him out, we need some front runners who can hang with him. In this case, Nonna’s Boy and Silverhill fit that bill. Nonna’s Boy won his career debut by 5 ½ lengths ridden out, but it was also a muddy track so I am uncertain if he’s just that fast or if he loved the mud. Silverhill ran 2nd to Cinco Charlie in the Bashford, but he tried desperately to keep up with Cinco’s pace in that one and it finally got the best of him. This time out, I look for the early fight to be between Nonna’s Boy and Cinco Charlie, and for my value play, I see Silverhill at 6 to 1 on the ML to rate in behind them and save some kick for the finish. Silverhill will have Rosie Napravnik in the irons which will be great for this situation. For a longshot, I like D. Wayne Lukas’ charge Mr. Z at 15 to 1 on the ML. He has the potential to pull this off with his closing kick as well. I also find it interesting that Corey Lanerie may have chosen this horse over Silverhill (not certain if he did or not, but if so, it puts a lot more faith in Mr. Z in my opinion.) Good luck everybody!




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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