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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 14, 2023 – Day 1 is in the books. Off to the slowest start were the weather handicappers who projected doom and gloom for opening day. Saratoga, the Graveyard of Meteorologists…

Bill Mott won with maiden juvenile regularly in the ‘90s. But then it was turf horses going two turns beneath Jerry Bailey. Fast forward nearly three decades and it’s current stable rider Junior Alvarado aboard precocious babies. Enter Sugar Hi.

Bet down to 2-1 from 8-1 morning, the scopey filly stalked comfortably, drew off under pressure, but won with something less. Just wait until she goes longer, Dear Dairy…

Gary Contessa is back… in a big way. It doesn’t get any bigger than winning a graded stakes with a first-time starter, ridden with confidence by the resurgent Javier Castellano.

Rallying up the fence to track embattled leaders, the team tipped out into the 3-path, took the lead, then increased her margin. This was no accident. The filly had been training in Saratoga for debut since May. Good job all around.

Mark Hennig has returned to the winner’s circle with a vengeance. Into Happiness proved much the best, underscoring a recent romp over weaker, the fifth recent winner first time off the Hennig claim.

Johnny V, riding in great recent form, did not panic when the filly failed to break on time, coming from last to win going away over a tiring surface.

First Stable Mail of the Meet honors goes to Arisaema, who broke five lengths behind the field, trailed throughout, found a seam, rallied gamely splitting horses in midstretch, angled to the fence and finished like a wild horse. Next time… Consultant is better than that and a class drop would help; follow his progress

Good job by trainer Philip Antonacci, getting Thundara to break maiden on debut going two turns from an extreme outside post.

Trip Notes for the Friday feature:

, Coronation Cup Stakes    3YO Fillies     5-1/2 Furlongs    Turf

My Sweet Affair (7-2) second to Brittney Russell loose leader, jostled start inside, shuffled back, angled 5-wide on move entering lane, drive 5-wide stretch, failed to change leads.

 Love Appeals (3-1) stout restraint stalking the speed confidently, challenged on rail at turn, driven out 2-3 path, excellent turn of late foot, good energy distribution, best!

Anna’s Arabesque (8-1) lost to perfect trip winner on turf two back, stout restraint speed stalking 3-4 wide throughout, driven out gamely late stretch.

Love Reigns (7-5) shuffled back after showing speed from gate at 5/8s, checked between rivals at 3/16s, no chance to win, angled to fence deep stretch for win, remarkable performance!

Violet Gibson (12-1) took back after showing speed from gate in 2-turn debut, raced covered up a long way, finished well late driven out.

Wildhawk (30-1) pushed hard showing speed inside throughout, good move midstretch while hard ridden, no turf experience.

Unified Alliance (20-1) chased 3-wifde while showing good speed throughout, pushed hard 3-wide entering, hard drive stretch.

Bosserati (8-1) restrained speed going easily loose on lead LRL stakes, driven out.

L Street Lady (9-5) [Main Track Only] rated until ready, pushed hard into lane, driven out good-trip winner.

The Skinny: Love Reigns is the proven class, has never lost in listed stakes company vs. fillies, won the Bolton Landing here at 2, races well fresh and worked a bullet at KEE base for Wesley Ward.

Joel Rosario re-rides the most probable winner. But if the early line holds, Love Appeals (3-1) is the smarter play at 5-2 or greater.

On Dirt: the Brittney magic looms large but at double-digit odds, would throw deep with 30-1 price shot Wildhawk.

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