Saratoga Stars of the Week
by Bobby Raposa
Monday, August 7, 2017
We’re happy to feature “Saratoga Stars of the Week” here on Danonymous Racing, covering the best horses from the prior week of racing. Bobby Raposa (@bobbyrap_) is here to provide his thoughts on the matter. Give him a twitter follow when you can.
- GUN RUNNER– No surprise here, as Gun Runner is the number one star of the week. However, leading up to the Grade 1 Whitney, many were debating if he was the real deal. They were also wondering if Looch Racing Stables’ rabbit, Cautious Giant, would force Gunner Runner to lock into an early speed duel, eventually making way for other Looch Racing Stables’ horse, War Story, or Keen Ice to pick up the pieces. Luckily for Gunner Runner, he didn’t hear any of the talk and ran like it, cruising to an easy 5 ¼ length victory over Keen Ice, making it four wins in his last five starts. With Arrogate running flat last time out, finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Sand Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 22, this 4-year-old son of Candy Ride has made the conversation of who is the best older male horse in North America, and possibly even the world, a bit more debatable. Trainer Steve Asmussen said his next potential start could come in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes back at Saratoga on September 2.
- GREEN MASK– Fresh off of punching his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint back on July 2 at Woodbine Racecourse in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes, this 6-year-old son of Mizzen Mast ran like a 3/2 favorite should in the 5 ½ furlong Troy Handicap. Green mask sat just off the pace in third, while Bold Thunder and Pure Sensation battled for the lead all the way to the backstretch, before giving way. As the two lost their steam with a furlong to go, Green Mask made his move and opened up on the field, winning by an easy 2 ½ lengths over Holding Gold and Long On Value, narrowly missing the course record by three one-hundredths of a second.
- RALLY CRY– The racing world may have found itself a new major contender in this 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo. Coming off a lackluster performance in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile, Trainer Todd Pletcher stretched Rally Cry out to a mile and an eighth for the first time and boy did it pay off. As Conquest Windy City led the field around the track, Rally Cry bought his time, sitting right behind him in second. Coming off of the turn, Conquest Windy City tired and Rally Cry put it into another gear, as he opened up on the field and eventually hit the wire 8 ¾ lengths ahead of other Todd Pletcher trainee, Red Rifle.
- AMERICAN GAL– American Gal was never really tested in the Grade 1 Test Stakes. Going off as the 2-1 co-favorite, American Gal sat nicely in fourth place throughout the majority of the race. Coming into the stretch, American Gal made her move on the far outside, and hung four-wide with Faypien, Vertical Oak and Chalon. As Vertical Oak and Chalon tired, Jose Ortiz and American Gal pushed ahead of the field, eventually winning by 4 lengths. This win brings her career record to 6-4-1-1, with her only loses coming to multiple grades stakes winner and Kentucky Oaks champion, Abel Tasman and Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies champion, Champagne Room.
- TRUMPI– As the biggest price on the board to win all weekend at The Spa, going off at 22-1, this 2-year-old son of Majestic Warrior wired the field to break his maiden in an $83,000 Maiden Special Weight on Saturday afternoon. Trumpi broke from post position 2 and never looked backed, setting fractions of :23.59, :48.39, 1:12.85 and 1:36.28, before finishing out in 1:42.13. To watch his performance, click the link below, search Saturday Aug. 5 and proceed to race 4.