Hang on to your caps, folks. We're about to see what our top U.S. turf speedsters can do! Twelve horses are entered for Friday's $200K Troy Stakes (G3) at Saratoga.
It's a five and one-half furlong dash over the Saratoga lawn, restricted to four-year-olds and upward. This is a race you don't want to miss. We've had top-tier sprinters compete for this title: the late AMERICAN SAILOR (last year's winner), GREEN MASK, DISCO PARTNER, PURE SENSATION, LEINSTER, and even IMPRIMIS, who is giving it another shot after finishing third in 2020.
Here's a look at the competitors:
Race 9: The $200K Troy Stakes (G3) — 5.5 furlongs, Turf, Four-year-olds and upward.
Post Time is 5:39 PM ET.
FAST BOAT: 10-1
CHEWING GUM: 10-1
CLASSY JOHN: 20-1
FRONT RUN THE FED: 15-1
GEAR JOCKEY: 12-1
BOUND FOR NOWHERE: 7-2
CASA CREED: 9-2
The gutsy veteran IMPRIMIS from post position seven is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. Hailing from the Joseph F. Orseno stable, IMPRIMIS comes off a narrow defeat in the Shaker Town (G2) to BOUND FOR NOWHERE, who beat him by a nose. To IMPRIMIS's defense, he broke through the gate at the start. Ladies and gents, when a horse breaks through the gate in a five and a half furlong sprint, such a bothersome start doesn't do favors for the horse's ability to relax. Before he knows it, it's time to go all out but energy has been depleted by that much. It's likely IMPRIMIS was lengths better than where he finished in the Shaker Town (G2).
CASA CREED from the outside post is 9-2 on the morning-line for trainer Bill Mott. He is a very interesting case. This son of JIMMY CREED had been primarily a miler or router for the better part of his racing career. He switched to sprinting two starts back, won both starts, and picked up his first Grade 1 victory. Needless to say, he's not harmed by the shorter distance. But is he helped by the outside post? We'll see if jockey Junior Alvarado can navigate him home, as he did last time out in the Jaipur (G1). CASA CREED owns 1 win and 1 third from 2 starts at Saratoga.
What about finding a good longshot to cash in on?
CHATEAU from post-position nine with Dylan Davis aboard might be worth a look. He is 30-1 on the morning-line for trainer Rob Atras, but could probably outrun his odds and do better than what's expected of him.
CHATEAU is a G3 winner who has faced tougher fields than anything IMPRIMIS, BOUND FOR NOWHERE and CASA CREED has faced all year.
Sure, CHATEAU's races have been on dirt. But class is class. And his recent bouts with MISCHIEVOUS ALEX, FIRENZE FIRE, and YAUPON may have battle-tested him nicely for this task.
On paper, CHATEAU needs the lead more than anyone else in the field, and will probably secure it. He still has to take a giant step forward, undoubtedly. But if turning for home our 30-1 horse is still galloping on the lead, in the place affectionately known as the House of Upsets, could there be anything more thrilling to shout and root for?