OTB Race Previews & Odds
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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Sword Dancer Stakes takes place this Saturday, August 26 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. A nice purse of $1 million will be on the line for horses three years old and upward that are willing to line up on Saratoga's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles.
Seven older entries will give it a go in the Sword Dancer Stakes - race 10 on Saratoga's packed Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:49 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all seven entries for this competitive G1 stakes - a "Win & You're In" prep for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf.
Irish bred Aidan O'Brien trained colt has placed in eight of 12 career starts - three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He enters off an OK third in a terrific field in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes July 29 and a nice win in the Group 2 Harwicke Stakes June 24 - both at Ascot. Before that was a sixth in the Group 1 Coronation Cup overseas June 2, a fifth in his only North American action - the G1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine in October and a DNF as favorite after unseating his rider in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster September 10. In 2016. He also posted a win in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York August 17, a second in the Group 1 Irish Derby June 24 and consecutive thirds including the Group 1 Investec Derby June 4. Outside of two bad outings, Idaho has been very competitive so far. He hopes his success at home finally translates to North America. Ryan Moore has been tabbed to ride the morning line favorite from the outside post 7.
Francis-Henri Graffard Irish bred trainee has five wins, a second and a third-place finish in 15 career starts - his best results came in 2015 when he won the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris in July and the Group 3 Prix du Lys Longines in June. His North American debut was pretty impressive as well - a good win in the G1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine October 16. He hasn't looked great in three starts since that win however - a ninth last time out in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud July 2 followed a fourth in the G1 Prix Ganay in May and a fourteenth in the G1 Japan Cup at Tokyo in November. Erupt has failed to hit the board in his last three starts overall and hopes to replicate the form of his only North American start. Stephane Pasquier gets the call on the second betting choice from gate 6.
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Defending runner-up in this race has four wins, six seconds and a third-place finish in 16 career starts for trainer Chad Brown. He broke maiden at Belmont Park last May in his fourth career starts and went on to a couple of good runner-up finishes - the G3 Kent Stakes last July and the G3 Saranac Stakes in September. He struggled after that however - a seventh in the G3 Hill Prince Stakes here in October and an eighth in the G1 Hollywood Derby in November. He has been OK in his last eight starts however - a career-best win last time out with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure in the G2 Monmouth Stakes July 30 followed a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, a fourth in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic October 1 and a second with a terrific 112 Beyer Speed Figure in the 2016 G1 Sword Dancer. He also had consecutive runner-up finishes in 2016 - the G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3 and in the G1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 14. Money Multiplier has been decent for sure and will still be chasing his second straight graded stakes score Saturday. Javier Castellano rides the intriguing third choice from post 5.
Thomas Albertrani trained colt failed to place in his first three career starts but has been good since. Last time out was an OK third behind Hunter O'Riley and Bigger Picture in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes on this track July 29 which followed another third in the G1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 10 and yet another third in the G1 Man o' War Stakes on this track May 13. Before that was a nice win in the G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream April 1 and a good stakes debut - a runner-up finish in the G3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream January 20. He also had three straight wins including consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores in New York with the last coming November 9 and a maiden score at Saratoga last August. Sadler's Joy now has four wins, a second and three third-place finishes in 11 career starts, has been a factor in every race the last 12 months and hopes to snap a string of three straight thirds when he leaves from post 3 with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Has placed in 10 of 15 career starts for trainer James Toner - four wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut in January and finished sixth in the G3 WL McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream and has three starts since - a superb win at 16-1 last time out over many of his Sword Dancer foes in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes here July 29 followed a fifth in the G3 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 9 and an Allowance score at Keeneland April 27. Before that were consecutive thirds in minor stakes action - the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream December 31 and the Gio Ponti Stakes at Aqueduct November 24. He also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park October 23 and a third and a second respectively in another pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races. Hunter O'Riley has placed in seven of nine races ahead of this weekend and hopes to build on a career-best effort last time out. Florent Geroux will be in the irons from gate 4.
Made his stakes debut last July for trainer Michael Maker and finished eighth in the G1 United Nations Stakes. Before that were six wins, three seconds and a third-place finish including two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores in 2016. He has been up and down since but has been good in his last three starts particularly - a second behind Hunter O'Riley in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes here July 29 followed a terrific win in this year's G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 1, a third in the G2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 22, a fourth in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 and a good win in the G3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 29. He also won the G2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 12. Bigger Picture has placed in six of his last eight starts overall with three wins over that span and hopes to keep a decent run going from gate 2 Saturday. Jose Ortiz rides.
Doug O'Neill trained colt has four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts and has looked very good at times over that span. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes on this track July 29 which followed a pair of quality runner-up finishes - the G2 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita May 28 and an Allowance Optional Claiming on that track April 23. Before that was a sixth in the G2 Mathis Brothers Mile December 26, a respectable third at 19-1 odds in the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar December 3, a good win at 36-1 in the G2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita November 4 and three disappointing results in 2016. He started 2016 with two good stakes wins - the G2 El Camino Real Derby February 13 and the minor California Derby in January - both at Golden Gate. Frank Conversation has shown some serious form in the past but has been a tad inconsistent the last year. Mario Gutierrez will be in the saddle hoping to snap a five-race losing streak from the rail.
Race 10 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:49 PM.
|1||Frank Conversation||20-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|2||Bigger Picture||8-1||Jose Ortiz||Michael Maker|
|3||Sadler's Joy||5-1||Julien Leparoux||Thomas Albertrani|
|4||Hunter O'Riley||6-1||Florent Geroux||James Toner|
|5||Money Multiplier||7-2||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|6||Erupt (IRE)||3-1||Stephane Pasquier||Francis - Henri Graffard|
|7||Idaho (IRE)||2-1||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien|