September 23, 2023

Catching up with 2-year-olds at Saratoga

Saratoga opens for a 40-day meet on Friday (C) Adam Coglianese Photography

Saratoga reached the midway point of its 40-day session last weekend and let’s review leading performers among the 2-year-old ranks. Del Mar’s juveniles have also been featured this week.


COPPER BULLET rebounded stylishly in the 6 ½-furlong Saratoga Special (G2) on August 13, displaying no signs of immaturity while patiently stalking the front-runners. He launched his move into the stretch and blasted home a four-length winner to establish himself as a major divisional player for Steve Asmussen. A troubled second in his stakes debut at Churchill Downs, $200,000 More Than Ready colt earned a commendable 94 BRIS Speed Rating.

FIRENZE FIRE swept to the lead leaving the far turn and posted a one-length decision in the 6-furlong Sanford (G3) on July 22. A Florida-bred son of Poseidon’s Warrior, the Jason Servis-trained colt improved to 2-for-2 after easily breaking his maiden at Monmouth Park. He netted a 93 BRIS Speed.

MOJOVATION did not disappoint as the 4-5 favorite when unveiled by Todd Pletcher on July 29, parlaying a front-running trip into a two-length victory at 6-furlongs. $330,000 Quality Road colt received a 95 BRIS Speed.

NATIONAL FLAG closely tracked a hot pace and finished up gamely to edge a well-regarded rival by a 1 ¼-length margin in a 6-furlong maiden on August 5. Todd Pletcher trainee improved significantly in his second outing, faltering at odds-on at Belmont in early July, and garnered an 89 BRIS Speed. Speightstown colt commanded a $600,000 sales tag.

SPORTING CHANCE showed high speed from the gate and drew off sharply leaving the far turn, scoring by 2 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on July 22. The dark bay colt was making his second start, finishing second at Churchill Downs in mid-June for D. Wayne Lukas, and $575,000 son of Tiznow registered an 89 BRIS Speed.

OSKAR BLUES displayed enormous resolve despite being overlooked at 33-1, dueling from the start against a heavily favored rival and re-rallying late to eke out a nose decision in a 7-furlong heat on August 12. A $350,000 purchase, Speightstown colt was making his debut for Kenny McPeek and recorded a nice 94 BRIS Speed.

BARELY IMPAZIBLE left a fine impression defeating New York-bred rivals in his first appearance on August 7, rallying from just off the pace to win going by a 2 ½-length margin. Gray colt was favored at 6-5 in the 6-furlong event for Chad Brown and $285,000 son of Mission Impazible was awarded a 92 BRIS Speed.

AVEENU MALCAINU graduated at first asking on July 287, rallying from off the pace to capture a New York-bred maiden by about a length for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. $150,000 Into Mischief colt received an 87 BRIS Speed.

UNTAMED DOMAIN was bet down to favoritism in a turf maiden special weight on July 22 and overcame being steadied to win the 1 1/16-mile affair going away by 1 ½ lengths. $90,000 colt was exiting a troubled fourth in his debut at Laurel Park and Graham Motion trainee hails from the first crop of Animal Kingdom.

EL DULCE repulsed a host of challengers recording a game wire-to-wire conquest in his debut, posting a neck score in a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint on July 29. Todd Pletcher is responsible for the $200,000 son of Twirling Candy.

MACHTREE captured his first start at 1 1/16 grassy miles on August 12, rallying boldly for a half-length decision after extricating himself from tight quarters in upper stretch. Mark Casse conditions the $450,000 Kitten’s Joy colt.

TRUMPI surprised at 22-1 in his first attempt for Bill Mott, leading wire-to-wire in an August 5 turf test at 1 1/16 miles. The Majestic Warrior colt dug in late to prevail by a half-length.

EVALUATOR offered a bold late kick to post a four-length tally over New York-bred rivals on turf, winning his career debut at 1 1/16 miles on August 9. Michael Dilger trains the $30,000 Overanalyze colt.


PURE SILVER made a seamless transition to open company in 6 ½-furlong Adirondack (G2) on August 12, striding away to a 9 ½-length victory. Purchased for $125,000, New York-bred daughter of Mission Impazible has led wire-to-wire in all three starts for Todd Pletcher. She collected a career-best 92 BRIS Speed in the Adirondack.

DREAM IT IS offered a grand performance in her first start on a dirt track, dominating the 6-furlong Schuylerville (G3) on July 21. $50,000 Shackleford filly invaded from Woodbine with a 2-for-2 mark on Tapeta, including a smashing tally in June 24 My Dear, and she tracked the pace in both stakes wins before taking command on far turn. Barbara Minshall trainee pocketed an outstanding 100 BRIS Speed after romping by nine lengths.

SEPARATIONOFPOWERS blew the doors off the competition in her initial outing on July 30, extending the margin to 11 ¾ lengths in a wire-to-wire performance. Chad Brown trains $190,000 daughter of Candy Ride and bay lass received a 96 BRIS Speed in the 6-furlong maiden test.

LADY IVANKA finished with a flourish when making her first start in a 5 ½-furlong race on August 9, running down a clear leader en route to an eight-length decision. Conditioned by Rudy Rodriguez, $80,000 Oklahoma-bred daughter of Tiz Wonderful notched a 91 BRIS Speed.

HONEY GRAEME proved best in front-running fashion when making her debut at 5 ½-furlongs on August 6, scoring by 1 ¼ lengths for Richard Violette Jr. Graeme Hall filly cost $50,000 and has room for improvement after getting a 78 BRIS Speed.

TROUBLE FOR SKYLAR crushed state-bred foes as the odds-on choice in her July 26 unveiling, leading throughout in an eight-length tally at 5 ½ furlongs. Danny Gargan handles $225,000 daughter of Into Mischief, who registered an 83 BRIS Speed.

PAUSEFORTHECAUSE held as the even-money choice first-time out on August 4, winning by a half-length in 6-furlong event for New York-bred fillies. By Giant’s Causeway, Kiaran McLaughlin charge picked up an 80 Speed.

ORBOLUTION switched to turf in her third start and posted a good-looking victory for Todd Pletcher, rallying to win going away by 2 ½ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on July 23. $370,000 filly is from the first crop of Orb.

GOLDEN ORB provided another turf winner for her freshman sire when taking a 1 1/16-mile affair on August 6, getting up late by a half-length in her debut. Christophe Clement-trained chestnut was bought for $320,000.

DOODER rallied to win her first appearance at 1 1/16 miles on turf, prevailing by a half-length at even-money against New York-bred foes on August 10. Chad Brown is responsible for the $260,000 Flatter filly.

MARCH X PRESS hit the gate at the start of her career bow and looked beat when turning for home at the back of a 10-horse field on August 2, but she flew home to score by a neck in the 5 ½-furlong turf sprint. Todd Pletcher sent out the $90,000 filly from the first crop Shanghai Bobby.