A field of 11 juveniles will speed 6 furlongs in Friday’s $150,000 Saratoga Special (G2).

Saratoga Special Analysis

There figures to be a plethora of early action in the field, and the runners with pace who have drawn outside figure to have an advantage to the top of the lane.

Saratoga Special Contenders

#1 PAPETU — Dialed In colt ships up from Florida with a 2-for-2 mark for Sano. $80,000 yearling has been sharp in both performances to date, but he must overcome a difficult rail position with Johnny V in the controls.

#2 HOLD THE SALSA — Second timer made a bold late run from well off the pace to defeat state-bred foes on debut at Belmont. Son of Hold Me Back smoked a bullet half-mile in the interim, but passing all in this talented cast late will take a huge performance. Dylan Davis gets the call. 

#3 GAROPPOLO — $125,000 Outwork colt won at second asking at Belmont in advance of his stakes bow. Kelly Breen pupil must take another step forward, however, to be a major factor inside the final furlong beneath Saez.

#4 CARAMEL CHIP — Gulfstream import faces a much taller task after rallying to topple $25,000 maiden claiming foes most recently. Chestnut son of Midshipman looks like an outsider in the field.

#5 PICKIN’ TIME — Stay Thirsty colt is the second from the Breen shedrow, and he made good on debut while going off at 3-5 odds. Dark bay shows a trio of strong half-mile moves on the Oklahoma in preparation, and he will be a contender if he races to those morning drills. Javier Castellano will be in the silks.

#6 CAZADERO — Likely one to beat has been dominant from a pair of sterling races at Churchill Downs, including a facile score in the Bashford Manor (G3) most recently. Asmussen trained son of Street Sense fired a bullet three-eighths on the Oklahoma on Sunday to signal his readiness for his initial try at The Spa. Santana will guide the pace presser.

#7 MOMOS — Chestnut son of Distorted Humor left little doubt in his debut on the course when leading throughout for the red-hot Clement barn. Kentucky-bred has the experience from a try over the oval, and his conditioner is pressing all of the right buttons at the meeting, as well. Manny Franco retains the mount.

#8 MARKET ALERT — Interesting Empire State-bred drew away in a strong debut score at Belmont for Ryerson. D’funnybone gelding comes in fresh and will have a swift pace to rally into down the lane with Jose Lezcano riding. Juvenile has top-three intrigue at a square number.

#9 THERIDEOFALIFETIME — Candy Ride chestnut was ultra-impressive in a dominant maiden victory at Keeneland most recently. Third-time starter earned a hefty 94 Brisnet Speed figure, and he will be right there in the final yards with even slight improvement on Friday. Jose Ortiz will pilot the Correas trainee.

#10 JACKIE’S WARRIOR — Top pick was a very professional winner at first go beneath the Twin Spires and looks to have an especially bright future for Asmussen. Maclean’s Music colt made two moves along the rail in his tally, and I think he will benefit from being well off the fence in the Saratoga Special. Colt shows five morning drills at this locale, and he gets the nod under Rosario.

#11 RODERICK — $550,000 yearling won as he pleased at Belmont Park in his first outing for top juvenile conditioner Wesley Ward. Into Mischief colt has put in four solid half-mile drills in the interim, and he also possesses the early foot to be in the race despite drawing widest of all. Irad returns to ride.

Saratoga Special Wagers

  • $10 Win and Place: #10 Jackie’s Warrior ($20)
  • 50-cent Trifecta: 10 with 6,7,8,9,11 with all ($22.50)