As expected and reported Jerry Hollendorfer was granted his stay and for now can train and compete at Del Mar.
Tacitus found trouble yet again in the Jim Dandy. He stumbled badly at the start and just about went to his knees. He was still able to regather himself under Jose Ortiz and at one point looked like he had a chance to win but settled for second to Tax. Tax rebounded big time from the Belmont Stakes. Both these two are likely headed to the Travers. War of Will and Global Campaign were disappointing.
Imperial Hint smoked the field in the Alfred Vanderbilt and broke the track record for 6 furlongs in Saratoga clocking in at 1:07.92. That’s fast anywhere but when you think about the greats who have run at Saratoga it is a wow. Mitole regressed some from his Met Mile score and was up against it from the rail carrying 125 pounds. He’ll be back.
The Bowling Green saw two new potential turf stars fight it out to the finish. Channel Cat under Luis Saez for Todd Pletcher got the better of Ya Primo under Jose Ortiz. Ya Primo was a Chilean import making his US debut and first start for Chad Brown. Both these runners made a statement about being heard from in the older male turf division.
Marcus Vitali, no stranger to negative rulings on the racetrack apparently fled from a Delaware Park barn that was being searched by track investigators with a vial containing what was reported to be a red substance. He was given a year suspension from racing.
Cistron under Victor Espinoza earned a start in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for John Sadler by going wire to wire to take the win and you’re in Bing Crosby at Del Mar.
Under things change you can note it was not all that long ago trainer Oscar Barrera was king in New York winning with just about anything. His claim Shifty Sheik came close to upsetting Slew O’ Gold but fell a little short. Today his son Oscar Barrera Jr., who was a Prince while Dad was King, is apparently banned from NYRA tracks and has a BOLO posted in the event he is seen on the premises. Things change.
Enable was once again magnificent taking the King George Queen Elizabeth Quipco Group 1 at Ascot in a thrilling duel with Crystal Ocean. Not only was it a stellar effort in a very strong field, Enable had to overcome a wide draw and trip, and fight it out the entire stretch.
As fast and impressive as Imperial Hint was on Saturday, Shancelot screamed he was not taking a back seat to any sprinter shooting to the lead from the far outside 12 post going 6 and 1/2 furlongs in the Grade 2 Amsterdam under Esimael Jaramillo. Trainer Jorge Navarro touted his horse as a freak to anyone who would listen on the Saratoga backstretch, and Shancelot did not make a liar out of him. The fractions were 21.79, 43.94, 1:07.63 finishing in 1:14.1. He ran a faster three quarters of a mile than Imperial Hint did in breaking the track record. He won’t get the record, Imperial Hint will keep that at least for now but wow what a two days of sprinting.
The Saratoga track has never really been known as speed crazy but in the last few years we have seen some very fast performances. Arrogate breaking a very old mile and a quarter record in the Travers, and now these two blazing fast races. When you think about the greats that have run over Saratoga in its storied and long history, it makes it all the more remarkable.
Back on the West Coast at Del Mar Ollie’s Candy got a Grade 1 win in the Clement Hirsch under Kent Desormeaux for trainer John Sadler who himself had a nice weekend.
I guess the only thing that could have made the racing weekend better, is if Imperial Hint and Shancelot wound up in the same race. They both ran too good to lose. That would have been epic plus instead of just epic!
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