Trainer Richard Violette Junior's Bail Out The Cat heads a field of eight 2-year-old thoroughbreds Sunday as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the 96th running of the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Bail Out The Cat is stepping up in class and he has never run in a stakes race – but looks tough in this spot. In his only start, the even-money favorite Bail Out The Cat handily defeated runner-up Soldat by 2 ¼-lengths in a 5-furlong sprint on a muddy track at Belmont last month
Bail Out The Cat earned a 102 Brisnet Speed Figure for that effort and a repeat of that in the Sanford will make him tough to beat.
Bail Out The Cat is a descendent of the Northern Dancer sire line and since 1990, four horses from that line have won the Sanford Stakes: Scat Daddy (2006), Polished Brass (1997), Dehere (1993) and Mountain Cat (1992).
Bail Out the Cat's sire, Tale Of The Cat, has six winners out of 17 juvenile starters for 35 percent.
Dogwood Stables sends to the starting gate the coupled 3-1 second co-choice morning line favorites Lou Brissie and Blue Right By.
Lou Brissie is the only horse in the Sanford with any stakes racing experience. Lou Brissie comes into the race after suffering his fist loss in three starts to Kantharos in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs earlier this month. Prior to that, Lou Brissie won the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on April 30, defeating Boys At Tosconova by 1 ½ - lengths.
Lou Brissie is a descendent of the Mr. Prospector sire line and since 1990, five horses from that line have won the Sanford: Backtalk (2009), Desert Party (2008), Afleet Alex (2004), Whywhywhy (2002) and City Zip (2000).
Lou Brissie's sire, Limehouse, has two winners out of nine starters for 22 percent.
Blue Right By took three tries to break his maiden and comes into the race off of a 2 ½-length win in a 5 ½-length sprint at Churchill Downs on June 19. Blue Right By is also a descendent of the Mr. Prospector sire line and his sire Bluegrass Cat is ranked second on the 2010 Juvenile Sire List. Bluegrass Cat has eight winners from 23 starters for 35 percent.
Of the two, I like the pedigree of Blue Right By the most and look for him to do better as the races get longer.
A couple of interesting long shots are Maybesomaybenot (6-1) and Nacho Saint (10-1).
Maybesomaybenot comes into the race with a 6-length gate-to-wire romp at Churchill Downs on July 3, covering the 6-furlongs in a time of 1:10.76. I like the progression of Maybesomaybenot and he has been working out good.
Maybesomaybenot is also a descendent of Mr. Prospector. His sire, Sunday Break, won races from 7-furlongs to 8 ½-furlongs and was a pretty good middle-distance runner. His grandsire, Forty Niner, also was a good middle-distance runner and he won the 1987 Sanford Stakes.
Sunday Break has four winners from nine juvenile starters for 44 percent.
Nacho Saint is stepping up in class and, with two second-place finishes, he has yet to break his maiden. But his speed figures have been good and a bullet work out July 18 suggests that he may be ready to run a good race.
Nacho Saint is a descendent of the Bold Ruler sire line and Montreal Red (1994) is the last horse from that line to win the Sanford since 1990.
Nacho Saint's sire, Yes It's True, has two winners from 18 starters for 11 percent.