It was another great weekend of racing at Saratoga, headlined by a sublime showing in the Whitney (G1) by superstar GUN RUNNER, but a pair of others caught my attention as well.
RALLY CRY may have beat a questionable field of runners in the Alydar S. on Sunday, but the son of Uncle Mo could not have looked better in his first attempt at 1 1/8 miles. Talented four-year-old colt had given me the impression of a high-quality grinder up to this point, but he proved to be more explosive than that romping over the weekend.
$250,000 dark bay has missed the board just twice in his lifetime, both coming with graded foes, and Rally Cry has never looked better than he does presently. He’s ready to step back up in a division that is looking for a third-best behind Arrogate and Gun Runner.
I personally think he will run at the same pace all day and would be a great marathon type as well, but the nine-furlong Woodward S. (G1) on September 2 is next for the improving colt. Rally Cry provides another bullet for the holster for a Todd Pletcher stable that has no shortage of talent.
AMERICAN GAL was tons the best in the Test S. (G1) on Saturday and remains in the hunt for championship honors in her division if she can close out the season with style. Simon Callaghan pupil overcame the widest post to make short work of her foes over the weekend and always runs big, especially at sprint trips.
The question with American Gal is distance, but her class and power at middle-distance voyages trips makes her a most formidable foe in a mostly wide-open sophomore fillies division behind Abel Tasman.
Three-year-old daughter of Concord Point has a world of speed and class, and she might be a bit underrated as to how explosive and dominant she is when placed in her proper place. From four one-turn races, the filly has not been troubled winning by a combined 17 ½ lengths.
As impressive as Gun Runner was in his Whitney waltz, we didn’t learn a whole lot from the race. The Steve Asmussen trainee took over with ease approaching the final turn and left his foes in his wake en route to a sparkling tally under Florent Geroux.
Gun Runner shows up every time with incredibly high quality and the race for Horse of the Year with Arrogate just got a bit more interesting after the latter threw in a clunker in his latest performance.