Trainer Todd Pletcher will be looking to earn his first win today in the $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes (G2), when he sends Drum Roll (6-1) and the 2-1 morning line favorite Shanghai Bobby to the starting gate the 107th running of the prestigious stakes race at Saratoga Race Course.
Of the pair, I like Shanghai Bobby the best. He comes into the race undefeated in two starts and in his last outing he won the 5½-furlong Track Barron Stakes at Belmont Park.
His sire, Harlan’s Holiday, was competitive as a two year old winning the Iroquois Stakes (G3), Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes and Hoover Stakes.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik has had the mount on Shanghai Bobby in his previous two starts and she retains the mount for today’s race.
Spurious Precision, trained by Richard Violette, could be tough to beat if he repeats the performance of his maiden debut win last month at Saratoga.
His Brisnet E1, E2 and LP figures are on par with the figures for today’s race and his 101 Speed figure is the second fastest in the field next to the 103 speed figure Shanghai Bobby earned in the Track Barron Stakes.
“It’s a little bit quick back, not ideal, but he’s doing very well,” said Violette in a track news story. … We have an opportunity to run here, and if the stars align, look ahead to a race like the Champagne [Stakes, G1].”
High Cotton, the sire of Spurious Precision, finished second in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) as a two year. His best 2-year-old to date is Currency Swap who showed promise last year in winning the 7-furlong Hopeful Stakes (G1) but faded toward the end of the season.
A bullet work out at Saratoga on August 7 could have Spurious Precision ready to make the jump to graded stakes competition.
Two long shots I like in this race are In Harm’s Way (6-1) and Dan The Tin Man (8-1). Both colts finished fourth in their maiden debut but made a big improvement in their next start to win by open lengths.
In Harm’s Way has the best breeding of the bunch but it remains to be seen if he will live up to his breeding. His Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile is 63.75 making it the highest profile of the colts entered in the race.
Dan The Tin Man fired a bullet work out at Woodbine on August 5 and he could be ready to run a good race.
If both colts continue to improve, they should be competitive.