The Spa Spot: Morning Breeze
Just another Thursday at Saratoga: two steeplechase races, the debut of a hyped 2-year-old and a Grade 2 grass race for 2-year-olds that has turned out to be a spot that attracts some talented young prospects. Counting the steeplechases, eight of the 11 races are on the turf. Post time is 1 p.m.
- Not one, but two races end the 2012 steeplechase season at the Spa. The first is an optional claimer. The second is the $75,000 Mrs. Walter Jeffords for fillies and mares. Cat Feathers, winner of the Mrs. Ogden Phipps on August 9, will try for a second victory.
- The third race is the long-awaited debut of Archwarrior. Trainer Todd Pletcher has won 20 2-year-old races this season and Archwarrior is said to be the best of his terrific crop. He was scratched from a race over a wet track earlier in the meet and landed on the also-eligible list for a race on the Travers program. Today he gets the chance to show his stuff. Among the challengers is Transparent, a Darley homebred, who was eased as the favorite in his first race and turned in a bullet work on Sunday.
- The $100,000 Equalize for 3-year-olds is the ninth race. It has drawn 10 runners, many of them with graded stakes experience, including Csaba, who was second as the favorite in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame stakes run in the mud on August 10.
- The Grade 2 With Anticipation has grown into a strong race that produces some nice runners. In the last three years, it has drawn the likes of Interactif, Paddy O'Prado, Dean's Kitten, Soldat, Air Support, Optimizer and Dullahan, who won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Sunday. Time will tell how this group will measure up. Top contenders appear to be Joha, winner of the Colin at Woodbine, and Charming Kitten, a maiden winner trained by Pletcher.