Stakes Preview – The Grade 1 Spinaway


>Saratoga/ August 31 / Race 1o / 5:47 EDT

The Grade 1 Spinaway, for 2yo fillies, drew a field of nine and includes seven who will be making just their second career start.

The ML favorite is Todd Pletcher’s Angela Renee. A younger full-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, Angela Renee impressed in her debut at Belmont. She was able to chase the pace from the outside all the way that day, and still was able to get the best of a stretch duel with Sunday Sonnet, a horse who would come back to win her next start by open lengths. Angela Renee acquitted herself well in the Grade 2 Adirondack last time out, once again chasing the pace and battling gamely, though she would settle for second best at the end in there.

She has valuable experience that most of her competition does not have, and she is the horse to beat on Sunday.

Pletcher will also send out Curalina, a maiden who will skip her available condition to take a shot in this Grade 1 race. She was only second best to a promising High Dollar Woman in her muddy debut, and while she earned a solid 81 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that race, she is going to have to improve quite a bit in order to win this race.

Winter Dawn earned the top last-out speed figure in the field when posting a 93 for her debut win earlier in the meet. That 93 puts her on par with the best race the favorite has run, and she earned it while taking part in a strenuous stretch battle with a heavily favored Pletcher runner. Whether she can come right back with another performance like that one remains to be seen, but she’s clearly a player in here if she does.

We liked the debut win from By the Moon, who won the first baby race on opening day for a trainer having a quietly strong meet up here. She did benefit from a perfect trip in that race, but she defeated a horse who we think has much promise, Ring Knocker, and we like the fact that she has been freshened since that race and that she has continued to train right along in the morning.

Condo Commando is another who won her debut up here earlier in the meet. She started for a $75k tag, but she could hardly have been more impressive in running away from that field in the stretch, and she earned a solid speed figure of 90 for her effort. She didn’t draw well for this race (she’s on the rail), but she’s a danger if working out a trip and running something like her debut race.

We are going to take a shot with a new face in this race. Darling Sky will ship in from Parx for a very sharp trainer, and while her debut win over there wasn’t as highly rated as those of some of her rivals in the Spinaway, to us she appears to be a horse open to vast improvement. She had the requisite speed to be a debut winner at 5 furlongs, and she showed sharp acceleration once asked in the stretch–despite racing very greenly while shifting in late.

The play:

We’re betting Darling Sky to win the Spinaway and will play her in exactas with Angela Renee and By the Moon.

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