Friday, July 20, 2012

Schuylerville Stakes BBQ

by Laurie Ross & Steve Thygerson

SchuylervilleStakes07Summer is here and along with it comes the opening of Saratoga Racetrack for another season. Adding to the heat is the barbecue which will be held during the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) . No, not the kind where steaks sizzle over an open fire. This type of barbecue entails seven juvenile fillies all gunning for the lead. Who can endure a broiling pace, who will be baked and which one of them can cool her heels and come from off of the pace?

The filly with the highest Brisnet speed figure is #4 CAN'T EXPLAIN (Not For Love - I Ain't P T, by A.P. Indy), with a 103. She debuted at Belmont back in May and was caught late by Full Living. Can't Explain returned on June 20th and ran them off their feet. She had no problem running the rail and was never touched, widening all the way through the race. Can’t Explain’s full sister Together Indy won the seven furlong Commonwealth Stakes (G-3). Their dam is a half-sister to Black Eyed Susan heroine Acting Happy and the second dam I Ain’t Bluffing is a two-time Grade 1 winner. She’s the most experienced filly in the field with a grand total of two races under her girth. She enters for the powerful Pletcher barn.

There are three daughters of first crop sires entered.

#2 BABY J (J Be K - Lavender Baby, by Rubiano) seems to be the buzz horse coming into this race with a field high 84 Beyer in her debut back in June. She was faltering late but held for the win. Now she gets another sixteenth and will have to repeat her last to get the kewpie doll. Don’t like the slower works post-race but she is capable. Not sure she gets the lead against these which could be problematic, but like Dominguez, Rosario is very good with two year olds. She had the best debut but will need to back it up in a better field. Baby J is bred to be a precocious sprinter. She’s a half sister to a stakes winner and stakes placed runner.

Brown_Eyes_Blue#3 BROWN EYES BLUE (Big Brown - Golden Lips, by Silver Ghost) beat the gate and was gone at this distance at Churchill on June 30th. She is by Big Brown and his foals have hit the ground running winning 50% (3/6) of their races. Her dam is a half sister to the long-winded turf routers Hotstufandthensome,Tacit Agreement and Silver Charades. Brown Eyes Blue is the only one in the field who has run 6F and a substantial progression in her second race could be enough to seal the deal.

#7 SO MANY WAYS (Sightseeing - Happy Scene, by Dehere) she put them away for fun in her debut, drawing off to an eight length win in a 4 ½ furlong race at Parx. Add the last two bullet works and you have a filly who showed exceptional speed first out and looks to progress on her stellar start. Two year olds that have the outside post have a tendency to break out, but this one appears to be able to use her speed whenever she wants and the faster fillies are all on the inside. Although her speed figure is below some I wouldn’t discount one that ran away and hid first out. She’s the first winner for her first crop sire. There’s little blacktype in the first two generations of her female family, although her second dam Really Happy did win a Grade 3 and is multiple graded stakes placed.

#1 SWEET SHIRLEY MAE (Broken Vow - Joyful Chaos, by Rahy) started her career with a nice win at Belmont and has been working well at Saratoga in prep for her stakes debut. She has the rail, which is always an adventure with two year olds but she also has the services of the patient Ramon Dominguez to keep her on the straight and narrow. Wes Ward is a master with freshman and has been working her on Poly so you can expect that she has legged up and will be ready for this test. Her dam was a runner in her own right, earning $233K in her 16 races including a stakes over the lawn. She’s a half to the multiple turf stakes winner Sal the Barber.

#5 FULLY LIVING (Unbridled's Song - Half A. P., by Pulpit) got the best of Can’t Explain by half a length when the two dueled in their first meeting. Fully Living’s dam is a half-sister to Champion Juvenile Halfbridled. Fully Living hasn’t been out since her maiden score, but she owns a sharp set of breezes throughout June.

#6 MR HALL'S OPUS ( Officer - Sala de Oro, by Expelled) comes in really light off of a race in the mud at Belmont, won with a pretty slow time (1:00/2) and Breen is taking his shot I guess. The problem is that you have no idea how that win in the muck fits here. A clue is her bullet work… in the mud. Is she a mudlark? Too soon to tell but it looks like it. Mr Hall's Opus is a half to the stakes winning sprinter Truth and Justice. She would have to pull a quantum progression and I don’t believe in the horse fairy.


Track bias: In the last six editions of the Schuylerville, speed hasn’t held. The winners were all pace pressers or mid-pack runners who made their move in the stretch.

The Schuylerville boils down to which filly can rate and which can’t? We’ll take a shot with the most experienced filly, CAN'T EXPLAIN. BROWN EYES BLUE has a race under her girth at this distance, so we know she’s fit. FULLY LIVING and SO MANY WAYS also have a shot.




#3 BROWN EYES BLUE – longshot pick