The opening of Saratoga on Thursday highlights many of the best things about our sport, including outstanding two-year-old racing. No meeting across the nation showcases the stars of tomorrow more than ‘The Spa’ does, and they take little time in putting some fine prospects on display.
Nine juvenile fillies will go six furlongs on the dirt in the $150,000 Schuylerville (G3), and the exciting race looks to have multiple talented youngsters in the cast.
Trainer Doug O’Neill has a pair of entrants that posted robust 97 BRIS Speed figures on debut — SHIPPY and COMICAL. The former left little doubt as to why she was 2-5 at first asking at Laurel in her unveiling for then-conditioner Timothy Kreiser. The daughter of Midshipman blitzed her foes by 10 widening lengths and came back with a solid half-mile drill at Belmont in the interim.
Comical debuted at Santa Anita on May 26 and was much the best en route to a six-length romp. The Into Mischief filly also posted a healthy four-furlong move at Belmont, and she will get Javier Castellano to ride.
Todd Pletcher has made it a habit of dominating the baby races at Saratoga in recent history, including saddling six winners of the Schuylerville. He will send out a pair in the 2019 edition led by KISS THE GIRL. By Into Mischief, the $210,000 yearling purchase was a facile winner at first asking at Belmont Park and figures to improve with one under her belt. She will have John Velazquez, who has piloted five winners of this race, in the silks.
AURELIA GARLAND is from the first crop of Grade-1 winner Constitution for trainer Wesley Ward. The $185,000 yearling buy looks like a bargain purchase following her five-length waltz at Belmont in her debut performance. The chestnut retains the services of Joe Bravo.
HIS GLORY will have to prove herself at this level, but she was visually impressive in a powerful debut score at Indiana Grand. Tom Amoss trainee is closely related to champion juvenile Classic Empire and looks like an interesting prospect.
The Gary Contessa-trained BUXOM BEAST will make her debut in this salty affair, and the daughter of freshman sire The Big Beast is bred to be a good one. She is a half-sister to millionaire Gourmet Dinner and descends from the same female line as champion female sprinter Musical Romance, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) victor Battle of Midway, and 2018 Cigar Mile (G1) hero Patternrecognition.
Any number of the fillies entered in the field could go on to do great things. Hall of Fame members La Prevoyante, Cicada, and Ashado, as well as champions Meadow Star and Sacahuista, are some of the notable past heroines of the affair. And it is possible that the 2019 Schuylerville will produce yet another future superstar.
Happy opening day!
(c) Adam Coglianese Photography