Sunday, August 21, 2011

2011 Spa Recap

I'm sad to say that I didn't get my annual pilgrimage to Saratoga this year, but thank heavens for internet gambling! I'll still be able to play next Saturday's Travers Stakes, the famous Mid-Summer Derby, from the comfort of home. Tune in for a race analysis later this week.

This seemed like a good time to do a recap of a few of the big stakes races that have taken place at the Spa so far this summer:

On Saturday, July 30, trainer Chad Brown scored his first Grade 1 win as Zagora took down the Diana Stakes at a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf. She loped through a slow pace in mid-pack before unleashing her girl power in the stretch. Javier Castellano was aboard.

The very next race was the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes, and Javier Castellano jumped off Zagora, hopped on to Stay Thirsty, and won in nearly identical style. This puts Stay Thirsty squarely on the Travers hopeful list.

On Saturday, August 6, filly Turbulent Descent made it look easy, winning the Grade 1 Test Stakes by open lengths. The fractions were soft, but she wasn't. David Flores was the pilot.

In the next race, 2011 Met Mile winner Tizway took advantage of a speed duel and cruised to victory in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, winning by three-and-a-half lengths. Rajiv Maragh was in the saddle.

And on Saturday, August 13th, Winchester took down the Grade 1 mile-and-a-half Sword Dancer Stakes with true grit, going from last to first in the lane (shown above). Cornelio Velazquez was aboard.

Wow, so much racing! Just typing it all up has me exhausted!