January 20, 2022

Dunbar Road to face six in Shuvee

Dunbar Road wins Alabama Stakes
Dunbar Road winning the 2019 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga (c) Adam Coglianese/NYRA

Shuvee (G3) – Race 9 (5:39 p.m. ET)

After an uncharacteristic three-race losing streak, Dunbar Road will try to get back in the win column in Sunday’s $200,000 Shuvee S. (G3) at Saratoga. The five-year-old mare has shown an affinity for the upstate New York track, capturing the 2019 Alabama (G1) in her lone Spa appearance, and she will be favored against six rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Shuvee.

Dunbar Road won four of her first five starts, and opened 2020 with a pair of sharp victories, but her last success came in the Delaware H. (G2) 13 months ago. The Chad Brown-trained mare concluded last season with a pair of respectable thirds in the Beldame (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), but the daughter of Quality Road showed little when returning with a fifth in the April 30 La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs.

She should appreciate the class relief Sunday, and Irad Ortiz Jr. retains the mount.

Dunbar Road is one of three in the field for Brown. Royal Flag, who exits a head second in the April 16 Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland, is eligible to show more in her second start back this season. Winner of the Turnback the Alarm (G3) two back, the five-year-old mare will have Joel Rosario up.

Chilean Grade 1 winner Gold Spirit will make her U.S. debut for Brown, and Javier Castellano picks up the assignment on the four-year-old filly.

Multiple turf stakes winner Antoinette will remain on the main track following an encouraging runner-up to Letruska in the June 26 Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill. She was no match for the divisional leader, finishing more than five lengths back, but dug in gamely to save second when challenged by Envoutante in the stretch. Trained by Bill Mott, the four-year-old filly should be forwardly placed with John Velazquez.

Crystal Ball, a head second in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) last summer, will make her second start for Rodolphe Brisset. The four-year-old filly exits a frontrunning score in the June 26 Lady Jacqueline S. at Thistledown. Liberty M D jumps to stakes competition for Ian Wilkes after opening her racing career with a couple of nice wins over maiden special weight and entry-level allowance rivals at Churchill Downs. Grade 2 queen Horologist will need to turn things around after a couple of unplaced efforts.