Forego Stakes 2013 Contenders at Saratoga Race Course

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: August 29, 2013 -- 3:00 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Forego Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, August 31 from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $500,000 purse when they go seven furlongs on Saratoga's dirt track.

A field of 9 older horses will line up in the Forego Stakes - race 9 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:12 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all nine combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.

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2013 Forego Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Fast Bullet - Bob Baffert trained colt has only five career starts - an OK sixth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint three back was followed by two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hollywood Park December 6 and a nice win in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park June 8 - his first ever stakes win. He has four wins in five career starts has to be in the conversation in his first start since June. Luis Saez who guided Will Take Charge to a Travers win last Saturday will be in the saddle. Fast Bullet is a coupled entry along with...

Justin Phillip - multiple graded stakes winner and Steve Asmussen trainee ended 2012 with a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint behind Trinniberg and started 2013 with an OK third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes. He looked good in the spring in a pair of races at Oaklawn Park posting wins in an Allowance Optional Claiming and the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap over the scorching Gentlemen's Bet. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park in June and finished fourth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder behind Trinniberg. Last time out was a career best performance - a great win in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga August 4. He has won three of his last five starts and enters with confidence off his Vanderbilt score with the tremendous John Velazquez in the irons.

Forego Stakes 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Jackson Bend - was impressive in 2011 and the early part of 2012 during a streak of four wins, a second and three third place finishes in eight starts including wins in the 2011 version of this race, the Grade 3 Hal's Hope and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap. He also had a third in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Sprint during that time. He fell off a bit toward the end of 2012 culminating in a disappointing seventh in the 2012 Forego Stakes before injury sent Jackson Bend to the sideline for nine months. He returned June 8 to a fifth in the minor Ponche Handicap at Calder and followed that with an OK third in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap also at Calder. Last time out was another third in the minor Housebuster Stakes at Gulfstream August 3. If her can find his 2011 form, Jackson Bend could be a serious threat in the Forego.

Sage Valley - Rudy Rodriguez trained colt had a string of three straight wins to end his 2012 campaign - the biggest being the minor Mr. Nasty Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct in November. After nearly six months away he returned May 18 to stretch his win streak to four in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths at Pimlico. Last time out was yet another win in the Grade 3 James Marvin here after an uncharacteristic fifth in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park June 8. He has 10 career starts with six wins and three third place finishes and is yet another quality entry for the Forego.

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Lea - Albert Stall trained colt has eight career starts but he has hit the board in all - four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a respectable third in the Grade 2 Fourstardave August 10 after a decent second in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap behind Wise Dan at Churchill Downs June 29 and two straight wins - the best of which coming in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes in November. He has just three starts this year but has looked good in all. It wouldn't be a shock to anyone to see Lea emerge Saturday.

Javerre - has 13 career starts and has placed in 11 (she has placed in all 11 career starts on dirt) - five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes but went through a rough patch in the summer - a pair of eleventh place finishes including the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes and the minor Dan Horn Handicap at Monmouth Park. He had a win in the New Jersey Breeders Handicap in September and a nice win in the Grade 3 General George Handicap February 18 at Laurel Park as well as an OK third in the minor Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel Park March 16. He is coming off an OK second in the minor Teddy Drone Stakes July 28 and will be looking to regain his 2012 form Saturday.

Saratoga Snacks - multiple stakes winner has six wins, two seconds and a third place finish in nine career starts for trainer Gary Sciacca but has yet to line up in a graded stakes race. He did win the minor Alex M. Robb Stakes in December and then took six months away and returned to a win in the minor Shy Groom Stakes June 30. Last time out was an OIK third in the minor John Morrissey Stakes August 1 at Saratoga. He has been very impressive against some lesser competition - his step up Saturday should prove very interesting.

Strapping Groom - raced in graded stakes company for the first time in July and finished fifth in the Grade 3 James Marvin here but followed that with a good win in the minor Kid Russell Stakes on this track August 12. Before the James Marvin he won three times and finished second twice in his five previous starts including a nice 3 1/2 length win in the 6 1/2 furlong minor Lion Cavern Stakes at Belmont Park June 26 and an unfortunate 11 month layoff. Strapping Groom has seven wins, five seconds and a third place finish in 21 career starts.

Golddigger's Boy - has just one start this year after nearly eight months away - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Monmouth Park August 10. He failed to place in his last four starts of 2012 before the layoff including a pair of fifths in graded stakes action. He did finish second in the Grade 3 James Marvin last year - the only time he has placed in five graded stakes races.


2013 Forego Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:12 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Fast Bullet L. Saez D. Lukas
1-1
1A Justin Phillip J. Velazquez S. Asmussen
1-1
2 Javerre K. Carmouche C. Lynch
12-1
3 Jackson Bend J. Castellano S. Gold
10-1
4 Sage Valley C. Velasquez R. Rodriguez
7-2
5 Lea B. Hernandez, Jr. A. Stall, Jr.
12-1
6 Saratoga Snacks I. Ortiz, Jr. G. Sciacca
6-1
7 Strapping Groom J. Alvarado D. Jacobson
10-1
8 Golddigger's Boy A. Arroyo R. Preciado
20-1

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