Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap is on tap for this Saturday, August, 30 from a busy Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Horses three years old and upward will be featured when they take to Saratoga's turf track and go 1 1/16 miles searching for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
A possible field of 11 (two Main Track Only Entries) have been confirmed for the Bernard Baruch - race 5 on Saratoga's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 3:15 PM. Here is a brief glimpse into the past performances of all 11 possible entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Bernard Baruch Handicap Race Favorite Entries
Wise Dan - The terrific six-time Eclipse Award winning and defending two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan looks to be on track for another Championship campaign. He enters this weekend on a terrific three race win streak - the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic last time out - way back in May (right before colic surgery), the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Miles and a predictable win in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He was the runaway winner in Horse of the Year, Four-year-old & up male and Male turf (3yo&up) in 2013 and 2014, has won 12 of his 13 last races ahead of this weekend and 17 of his last 19 races overall including the Breeders' Cup Mile two years in a row - virtually untouchable. Wise Dan hasn't finished worse than second since October 2011 - impressive! He is simply the most dominant horse on the planet right now and is - no reason to think differently about this weekend except for the fact he's been recuperating for four months. Wise Dan will depart from post 5 with John Velazquez in the saddle as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite and 127 pound highweight - although he looks a tad vulnerable ahead of this race.
Boisterous -seven time graded stakes winner was last seen running fourth win the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap July 12 which followed a distant seventh in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes, a third behind Wise Dan and Seek Again in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 3 and an Allowance score April 5 for trainer Todd Pletcher. He won the 2011 and 2012 Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct and the 2011 and 2012 Knickerbocker Stakes but hasn't exactly been terrific as of late. Boisterous hopes to return to the form that saw him win two straight races last summer - the Grade 1 Man o' War in July and the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes in June when he leaves from post 4 with Javier Castellano in the saddle. Boisterous is a coupled entry along with long shot...
Bio Pro - Bill Mott trained gelding enters in OK form having placed in his last four starts overall. Last time out was a second in the minor Lure Stakes on this track August 2 after a third in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes in July and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in May. His last graded stakes action came in February - an eleventh in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita. Bio Pro has 22 career starts with five wins, seven seconds and three thirds and looks to place for the first time in graded stakes company Saturday. Joe Lezcano gets the call.
Bernard Baruch Handicap 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Sayaad - Kiaran McLaughlin pupil has 12 career starts with five wins and two second place finishes and enters off a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap here August 9 which followed a nice three race win streak - the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park, an Allowance Optional Claiming on that same track in October and in the minor Dance of Life Stakes August 25. His only other graded stakes action came last June - a fifth in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park. Sayaad makes just his third start of 2014 Saturday looking to rebound from his worst performance in over a year. He goes off at 6-1 odds from post 10 with Jose Ortiz aboard.
Five Iron - Brian Lynch trained colt won two straight stakes races at Woodbine last summer - the Victoria Park Stakes and the Toronto Cup Stakes before a terrific, career defining win in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes September 1 at Saratoga. He has just five starts since - a good third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby in October, an awful ninth in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 29 after five months away, a terrific win in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park May 3, a somewhat disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes on that same track June 7 and a sixth last time out in the Grade 3 Nijinsky Stakes July 19. He has won four of his last nine starts but has failed to place in his last two overall. Five Iron will be looking to rediscover his form from his win in the Fort Marcy Stakes with Joel Rosario aboard from post 9 at 8-1 on the morning line.
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Paris Vegas - finished second in this race last year but has placed in just two of six starts since - a third in the minor Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs in May and another third in the minor Who's To Pay Stakes last September at Belmont Park. He is coming off a sixth in the minor Lure Stakes on this track August 2 and last raced in graded stakes company in December - a sixth in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap. Paris Vegas has just five wins, four seconds and five third place finishes in 38 career starts and will have Luis Saez in the irons from post 7 at 12-1 odds.
Sky Blazer - trainer Barclay Tagg sends out multiple graded stakes placed Sky Blazer off a decent third in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap July 12 which followed a fifth in the minor Belmont Gold Cup in June, a sixth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes here May 3 and a fourth in an Allowance in April - not great. Before that were a win and a second respectively in Allowance races this past winter. He has 28 career starts with just five wins, four seconds and four third place finishes and looks for his first graded stakes score Saturday. Rajiv Maragh gets the call from the outside post at 15-1 odds.
North Star Boy - Irish bred gelding had an OK career in Europe before shipping to North America. He made his graded stakes debut in February and finished eleventh in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes and has hit the board in all four races since - a trio of thirds in Allowance races was followed by an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out on this track July 19. North Star Boy now has 34 career starts with six wins, four seconds and five third place finishes and will depart from gate 3 at 20-1 odds.
Optimizer - was last seen running twelfth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes way back on April 25 which followed a ninth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March and seven months away. He finished eleventh in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and went on to a disappointing eleventh in the Breeders' Cup that year as well. In 2013 he won the Grade 2 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap and the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap February 23 to go along with a second in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 4 - beaten by only reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan. He followed that with a third in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico May 18 and continued his good run with another solid result - a second in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap June 8. Optimizer has shown good form in the past but hasn't been a factor in a race in over a year. He departs from the rail with Alan Garcia guiding him at 30-1 on the morning line.
Lea - Main Track Only Entry - Bill Mott trainee has 12 career starts and has hit the board in all except a fourth in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 31 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 26. He has been out of action since February 9 when he was in the midst of his best career stretch - two straight graded stakes wins including the Grade 1 Donn Handicap and the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes. Lea will hope to pick up where he left off nearly seven months ago - if he does indeed races with Joel Rosario guiding him from post 6.
Red Rifle - Main Track Only and Todd Pletcher trained gelding has three wins and three seconds in 10 career starts and enters having finished second in consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last coming on this track August 7. He did win the minor Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston in March but has failed to place in his only two graded stakes starts thus far. He will leave from gate 8 Saturday if the race is moved.
2014 Bernard Baruch Handicap Entries & Odds
Race 5 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:15 PM.
|1||Bio Pro||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|1A||Boisterous||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|2||Optimizer||A. Garcia||J. Fernandez|
|3||North Star Boy (IRE)||I. Ortiz, Jr.||N. Saville|
|4||Wise Dan||J. Velazquez||C. LoPresti|
|5||Lea||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|6||Paris Vegas||L. Saez||E. Voss|
|7||Red Rifle||.||T. Pletcher|
|8||Five Iron||J. Rosario||B. Lynch|
|9||Sayaad||J. Ortiz||K. McLaughlin|
|10||Sky Blazer||R. Maragh||B. Tagg|