They're running the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga on Saturday and I always find it a little bit troubling that one of the greatest distance horses of all time has a seven furlong race named after him. Maybe they should make it a combination stake where the winner of this one has to come back in three weeks and win a race at two miles like Forego did in 1974 winning the Vosburg and the Jockey Club Gold Cup carrying over 130 pounds in both.
Okay, I'm through venting. Lets look at the field.
1. Limousine Liberal
He is one fantastic sprinter and seven furlongs is right in his wheelhouse. I can certainly forgive the third in the Met Mile since there were several real killers in there and the distance might have been a little to far for him.
Ransom the Moon came out of a fifth in the Met Mile to beat the best sprinters on the West Coast in the Bing Crosby and he was my pick to win that day. Limousine Liberal was third in the Met and came back to win a Grade 2 Stake at Belmont at this same seven furlong distance. I see no reason why he can't win again here at the same distance. He'll get the inside stalkers trip and the horse on the outside will take all the money, so his odds might be better than you expect. He is my pick to win!
2. Awesome Slew
He is a hard trier who usually makes his run and he should get some pace to run at here. He draws nicely inside so he won't lose ground, he's working like he's ready for a big one, and he will probably be overlooked in the betting. He will be on all my tickets, but I like the horse to his inside just a little bit more. Can't blame anyone for taking a flyer on him.
Another one who will be passing tired horses in the stretch, but will he have enough to get the job done? The inside horse seems to have his number lately, though they usually finish pretty close together. He's never won at this quirky distance. Since Limousine Liberal loves this distance, I have to lean towards him in this one.
He's taking a big step up off of some improving numbers versus softer. I doubt he's going to find this bunch very congenial. There are some serious killers in here and this guy simply doesn't measure up. I'll pass.
5. No Dozing
He ran an enormous number against weaker at this track last month and like the horse to his inside he's going to test the water in the deep end of the pool. That big number was in a five horse race where everything went his way. I don't think he can count on that here. He ran sixth in the Grade 1 Jerkens last year at the Spa in a race won by Practical Joke and I think he might be looking at something similar in here. I'll pass.
6. C Z Rocket
Other than the blowout loss to the outside horse in the Malibu last year, he really hasn't run a bad race. His last at Churchill was a romp against lesser where he put up a huge number, but it's hard to repeat those kind of performances against fields like this.
He is a key to the race though because he and Heartwood and C Z Rocket are going to have to make the outside horse work for the front in here. If City of Light blows out of there from the outside and clears the entire field easily, then they may all be racing for second. I'm thinking that he may have enough to make things interesting on the front end, but I don't think he is a candidate to win.
7. Warrior's Club
He's another who ran in the Met Mile which I see as a bit of a key race. He showed some speed in that one, but faded to tenth. He will be looking for an outside stalkers trip in here, but I have trouble seeing him out-closing some of the horses down on the inside who will lose far less ground.
He was soundly beaten by C Z Rocket at Churchill where he made a middle move then backed up. I keep coming back to him though, so in the end I'll use him with my pick, Limousine Liberal.
8. City of Light
It took a while, but we finally land on the wild card! This is a super racehorse. I'm certainly not going to hold the loss to Accelerate against him. Accelerate is one of the best horses in training. City of Light is very fast and will probably try to blitz out of there and clear this field early, but if he doesn't clear right away things could get interesting.
He's been away since May and it's hard for me to take a short price on a horse away that long who also draws the worst post in a field of killer sprinters. He may be this good and romp home like he did in the Malibu, but I think this may be tougher. I'll use him on some of my tickets, but I am playing against him to win.
There you have it. A formidable group of the nation's best sprinters running in a race named for one of the best distance horses in the last half of the 20th century. I'm picking Limousine Liberal and using him in combinations with Awesome Slew, Whitmore, Warrior's Club, and City of Light.
Good luck to all who are playing!