A total of 30 thoroughbreds have been nominated to the 108th running of the 6 ½-furlong Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds to be run August 20 at Saratoga Race Course.
Here are the past performances:
Goldmark Farms’ Backtalk, impressive winner of the Bashford Manor (G3) and Sanford Stakes (G2), is nominated. Backtalk is undefeated in three starts and trained by Tom Amoss.
Steve Asmussen leads all trainers with four nominations: Padua Stables’ Enumerate and Ackerley Brothers Farm’s Louisvilleluminary – both beaten by Backtalk in the Sanford; owner and breeder Robert A. Gentry’s Prince Rooney – a 15-length winner of the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes and Cathy Zollars’ Thiskyhasnolimit – a seven-length winner of a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs July 4.
D. Wayne Lukas, Kiarian McLaughlin and William Phipps have three nominations each.
Robert C Baker’s Dublin may be the best entry for Lukas. In his debut, Dublin finished fourth to Backtalk and second-place finisher Thiskyhasnolimit in a 5-furlong maiden special weight June 11 at Churchill Downs. Dublin came back on August 1 in a 6-furlong maiden special weight and broke his maiden by 3 ¼ lengths. Lukas’ other two entries are Activity Report and Soundman. Both are owned by Westrock Stables and they were soundly beaten in the Sanford Stakes.
Two of Kiarian McLaughlin’s entries have stakes racing experience. Gulf Coast Farms’ Fearless Cowboy finished second in the Victoria Stakes and first in the Colin Stakes at Woodbine. James J. Barry’s Dahlgren Chapel finished third in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 26.
Paul Pompa Jr.’s D’Funnybone is trained by Richard Dutrow and finished second in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder Race Course July 11.
Flatter Than Me, owned and trained by Merrill R. Scherer, is also nominated. Flatter Than Me finished second to Backtalk in the Bashford Manor Stakes.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Honor in Peace finished 16th in the Chesham Stakes at Ascot and is trained by Wesley Ward.
Flying Zee Stables’ Zip Quick, trained by Patrick Biancone, has a third-place finish in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes and a second-place finish in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3).
First-time starter Gresham Palace and Ryvit, a 6th place finisher in a maiden special weight August 6, are also nominated. Both are owned by Trade Winds Farm and trained by William Phipps.
Several Classic Champion Thoroughbreds on the Triple Crown trail have won the Saratoga Special Stakes: Colin (1907), Regret (1914), Morvich (1921), Blue Larkspur (1928), Bimelech (1939), Triple Crown winner Whirlaway (1940), Native Dancer (1952), Bold Forbes (1975), Conquistador Cielo (1981), Swale (1983) and Summer Squall (1989).