by Jerry Shottenkirk
July 18, 2020
Unless you own a horse running at Saratoga on Sunday, there’s to be no onsite viewing of races at the Spa, but from your easy chair and a big screen TV, you are right there.
The card (and late Pick 4) features the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes, and while a little short of Grade 2-type talent (at this point in their career), it includes a lot of up-and-coming 3-year-old fillies who will likely become regulars to the graded ranks after this one. The Lake Placid carries a $150,000 purse and will be contested over 1 1-8th miles.
Cat’s Pajamas, a Street Sense filly trained by Graham Motion, is unbeaten on turf after two dismal performances in dirt races. After eight months off, she came back on May 17 at Churchill and was a clear winner in her first turf race – a maiden special weights races – and she was able to keep that form at Belmont as she ran back for an allowance.
The Lake Placid is the ninth race on the 10-race card, and it’s the third leg of the late Pick 4, which runs from races 7-10. Here’s a look at a $75 suggested ticket, and a capable look at each of the races of the sequence:
Race 7 (4:40 p.m. ET, maiden special weights)
CALDEE is a Brad Cox trainee, and most of those are ready to go. This one is usable in a difficult-to-handicap field of first-timers. PEACHY QUEEN posted a bullet work and has other nice drills for her debut. DRESSY is another with good works and looks like she fits with these. LUCIFERS LAIR has everything you look for in a first-time starter and is poised to run well. OUR FLASH DRIVE put forth a good drill last out and from the outside can avoid a lot of the traffic.
Race 8 (5:14 p.m. ET, allowance)
New York-bred conditioned allowance runners hit the green and two of them looking particularly solid. MY SASSY SARAH broke her maiden and most recently was third in an allowance after trying the Grade 2 Miss Grillo. She has an edge in quality experience. LIGHT IN THE SKY lost a photo at Belmont in her only 2020 start and has impressive closing move on occasion. She will benefit from a good pace in this short race and will be the late runner to watch.
Race 9 (5:46 p.m. ET, G2 Lake Placid Stakes)
SPEAKTOMEOFSUMMER won a stakes race at Aqueduct and then moved up to the G3 Wonder Again last out. She didn’t make much of an impact but was an even fourth and has a better chance to run on late against these. STUNNING SKY was third two back at Gulfstream and then never really got involved while sixth in the G3 Regret. She’s came on some heavy heads and should move way up in this spot. CAT’S PAJAMA turned over a new leaf once she pointed toward the turf. This is a perfect opportunity for her first stakes attempt.
Race 10 (6:18 p.m. ET, claiming)
A nine-furlong claiming race is a crapshoot and usually requires quite a few options.
CONTROL GROUP has been hanging out at higher levels of competitions and drops to his lowest claiming price. Rodriguez claimed him two back, tried him on the turf and is now back to dirt. He might be able to right the ship. SHADOW RIDER is another (from the same barn) looking for a reversal in form and is taking a class drop to try it. He’s a late threat. MALIBU PRO was third against better and is usually comfortable when he gets on or close to the front end. MILLS comes in with the best form, having won three of his last four. The 10-year-old was claimed by the Barker stable two races back and responded with a win last time. His form and tactical speed make him a big threat to all the droppers. STREET TRUST came on well for third last four after trying much tougher. Late threat here.
Race 7) #4 Caldee, #6 Peachy Queen, #8 Dressy, #9 Lucifers Lair, #10 Our Flash Drive.
Race 8) #4 My Sassy Sarah, #5 Light in the Sky.
Race 9) #1 Speaktomeofsummer, #6 Stunning Sky, #8 Cat’s Pajamas.
Race 10) #2 Control Group, #5 Shadow Rider, #7 Malibu Pro, #8 Mills, #9 Street Trust.
Total Ticket Cost) 4,6,8,9,10/4,5/1,6,8/2,5,7,8,9 = $75 for $0.50