Brice Lunsford's ART COLLECTOR makes his first start for trainer Bill Mott on Friday's eighth race at Saratoga, the $120K Alydar Stakes.
The contest is a one mile and one-eighth race on the main track, restricted to four-year-olds and upward. Eight horses will enter the starting gate, with ART COLLECTOR occupying the four hole.
ART COLLECTOR, the four-year-old son of the late BERNARDINI, has recorded 5 wins and 1 second from 12 total starts, and produced earnings of $738,305. He exits a sixth-place finish in the Kelly's Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs, a little more than a month ago. It was his first start in over seven months; a layoff that goes back to the 2020 Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile (G1), where he finished eighth at odds of $4.90-to-win that day.
Now under the care of Bill Mott, ART COLLECTOR will try to find his way back to the winner circle, which he hasn't done in a year. He gets the red-hot Luis Saez on the saddle for the first time, and is 3-1 on the morning line to get the job done. Note that Luis Saez winning at a 20% rate at this current Saratoga meet.
Race 8: The $120K Alydar Stakes — 1 1/8 miles, Dirt, Four-year-olds and upward.
Post Time 5:05 PM ET.
CORE BELIEFS: 15-1
ART COLLECTOR: 3-1
MATH WIZARD: 6-1
BOURBON WAR: 15-1
JESUS' TEAM: 7-2
NIGHT OPS: 9-5
ART COLLECTOR is undefeated at this nine-furlong distance and could improve by returning to two turns races. He could also improve over what will be his second consecutive race without Lasix. ART COLLECTOR has put in consistent workouts leading up to the race and hasn't missed a beat since moving to his new barn.
NIGHT OPPS from the eight hole is the 9-5 morning-line favorite for trainer Brad Cox. The ultra-consistent five-year-old son of WARRIOR'S REWARD has finished second in all three of his previous races, and in the top three in all six of his last races. In his most recent start, last month's Monmouth Cup (G3), he rallied four-wide into the lane to finish second behind winner DR POST. How will that effort transfer over the SPA? We'll have to wait and see. Jockey Manuel Franco gets the call.
JESUS' TEAM from the seventh slot is 7-2 on the morning-line for trainer Jose F. D'Angelo. The son of TAPITURE is expected to improve off his second start off a layoff. He was the beaten $0.70-to-win favorite in his most recent start at Gulfstream Park. At this distance, he holds the top speed figures relative to this field. In preparation for this start, he submitted a sharp 4F workout last Saturday, going 4F in :48.2, the 22nd fastest of 153 workouts at that distance. Jockey Junior Alvarado rides for the first time.