A compact field of five will travel six furlongs on the Saratoga dirt in Saturday’s $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1).
The early tempo will be fairly moderate for a race at the level, with no clear pace player in the contest. #3 Firenze Fire and #4 Volatile are quickest and will lead the pack to the turn for home.
#1 LEXITONIAN (20-1) — Grade 3 winner draws inside coming off a solid allowance tally at Churchill Downs. Sisterson trainee is not consistent, but he can be good on his best day, and he figures to be tracking from just off the pace behind the leaders early on. Tyler Gaffalione has the assignment.
#2 WHITMORE (2-1) — Ageless 7-year-old has been as good as ever in 2020 for Moquett. Chestnut gelding was last seen taking the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park with a superb effort, and he shows some strong morning moves in the interim. Joel Rosario will guide the powerful Kentucky-bred who was a winner in his lone prior try at The Spa.
#3 FIRENZE FIRE (4-1) — Recent True North (G2) victor was fourth in the race last campaign but has a lot of appeal on this occasion. Kelly Breen pupil has good local experience, and he also possesses the early foot that will make him the one to catch soon after the break. Dangerous son of Poseidon’s Warrior retains the services of Irad.
#4 VOLATILE (4-5) — Once-beaten son of Violence has registered Brisnet Speed numbers of 107 and 109 from a pair of spectacular 2020 outings for Asmussen. Budding superstar shows a trio of morning drills on the Oklahoma training surface to ready for his Grade 1 debut, and the $850,000 yearling purchase draws perfectly with the speed to his inside. Santana will guide the horse to beat.
#5 MIND CONTROL (6-1) — Classy Stay Thirsty colt is a two-time Grade 1 winner on the surface from as many tries. Sacco trainee didn’t handle the sloppy going in the recent Carter H. (G1) at Belmont Park, but he was victorious in his initial two runs of the season, and I think he is a must use with his affinity for the surface. Regular pilot John Velazquez will be in the stirrups.
- $30 Exacta: 4 with 5 ($30)
- $10 Exacta: 5 with 4 ($10)