March 29, 2023

Set Piece brings late kick, Public Sector heads Brown duo in Forbidden Apple

Set Piece wins the 2021 Wise Dan Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Forbidden Apple (G3) – Race 9 (5:39 p.m. ET)

A convincing winner of the May 21 Dinner Party (G2) on the Preakness undercard, Set Piece will look to make a major presence in the final furlongs of Saturday’s $175,000 Forbidden Apple (G3) at Saratoga. Thirteen horses, included a main-track only runner, have been entered for the mile test on the inner turf.

Set Piece ran well over Saratoga’s inner course last year, finishing second in the Fourstardave H. (G1), and Florent Geroux will retain the mount on the six-year-old gelding. Brad Cox conditions the five-time stakes victor.

Chad Brown, a four-time leading trainer at Saratoga, will send out Public Sector and Analyze It.

Perfect from three starts on Saratoga’s turf, including last year’s editions of the Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3), Public Sector exits a rallying third to Masen in the Poker (G3) at Belmont Park. Irad Ortiz Jr. will guide the four-year-old. Multiple Grade 3 winner Analyze It, an earner of more than $950,000, will make his second start off the bench following a third in the May 22 Cliff Hanger S. at Monmouth Park, and Jose Ortiz rides the seven-year-old gelding.

Mira Mission merits respect following a neck second in the May 7 Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, and the four-year-old stalker will keep the services of Julien Leparoux. Get Smokin enters on the upswing, missing by a head in the June 4 Arlington (G3) at Churchill Downs, and the five-year-old gelding should ensure a solid pace with Javier Castellano.

City Man and Scuttlebuzz have recorded stakes wins this year. Other contestants include Grade 3 scorer Clear Vision and Poker runner-up Wolfie’s Dynaghost.

One race earlier on the program, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) winner Twilight Gleaming tops 12 three-year-old filly sprinters in the $150,000 Coronation Cup S. at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. The Irish-bred filly exits a wire-to-wire triumph in the May 14 Mamzelle S. at Churchill, and Irad Ortiz pilots the Wesley Ward-trained speedster.

Her rivals include Derrynane, Lady Scarlet, Poppy Flower, and Marissa’s Lady.