Saratoga Race Track has yet another Grade 1 race on tap for this weekend, and I will be taking a dive into the Grade 1 Forego Stakes. The Forego has 11 runners going to post for a purse of $300,000. The race is named after the horse Forego who won Horse of the Year honors three consecutive years from 1974-1976. The first Forego Stakes took place in 1980 at Belmont Park. In the last four outings of the Forego the winners have all been top of the line horses. This race draws plenty of quality and should be another good entry.
In the 2019 Forego Stakes Mitole rolled to victory by 7 lengths, and in doing so set the record for the fastest ever Forego Stakes. Jockey Ricardo Santana rode Mitole to victory, and is once again entered in this race, but will be on long shot Everfast.
Here is a look at the 11 horse field for the 2020 Forego:
1. Everfast – Trained by Jack Sisterson and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. Was a winner last time, but against very weak competition in an allowance race. Everfast has had plenty of experiencing in stakes races including running in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes as a 3 year old. He will need to get lucky to win this race, but he will be a big price and appears to have improved for this trainer as a 4 year old. He will be coming from well off the pace most likely.
2. Whitmore – Trained by Ronald Moquette and ridden by Luis Saez. Whitmore is a grizzled 7 year old veteran of the race track. He has been incredible consistent throughout his career, and just when you think you can count him out he will pop up and beat you. In his 35 career starts he has 14 wins, 11 seconds, and 3 third place finishes. He’s always going to give you his best, and will be stalking the pace as always under top jockey Luis Saez. He is very much a major player in here.
3. Lexitonian – Trained by Jack Sisterson and ridden by Jose Lezcano. Ran very poorly against Whitmore in a Grade 3 at Oaklawn Park in April this year, but has since bounced back very nicely with a win and a 2nd place finish. That was against weaker competition, and now has to step back up in competition. It will be difficult to turn the tables on some of these better horses and he will need his very best in order to come away with a victory here.
4. Funny Guy – Trained by John Terranova and ridden by Joel Rosario. A winner in the last 3 of 4, and has finished in the top 2 in 9 of 12 career starts. This one is stepping up in class, but seems to be doing it at the right time. He has been improving with each start, and appears to be ready to go for this one. Jockey Joel Rosario has ridden Funny Guy twice and both were to good looking wins. He is a must consider in this race.
5. True Timber – Trained by Jack Sisterson and ridden by Kendrick Carmouche. Yet another Jack Sisterson trainee in this race, and another one that will have to do a lot of improving in order to make it to the winners’ circle. His best race came in a Grade 1 in 2018 in which he finished in 2nd place at 30-1. The one thing this horse has going for it is it really does like the 7 furlong distance that it will be racing at here. While this is definitely the right distance, a minor award may once again be the ceiling for True Timber.
6. Complexity – Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz. This is tough horse to get a read on. Started off the career very promising when winning the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. Following that victory though were 10th and 11th place finishes and beaten by 20 lengths in both races. Complexity did return off a 7 month lay-off to win against a soft field, but given the early odds here I would demand much more value on this horse. He has just been no match for the likes of these in here since being a 2 year old in 2018. Chad Brown is one of the best trainers in the game, and Jose Ortiz wins at a 21% clip so he could surprise.
7. Win Win Win – Trained by Michael Trombetta and ridden by Javier Castellano. This is an intriguing long shot in this race. He won 3 of the first 4 races in his career sprinting between 5 furlongs and 7 furlongs. Then they started sending this horse to longer distances, and while he ran well it was clear he wasn’t set up for routing. They finally dropped him back into a 7 furlong sprint, but it was on the turf and he clearly didn’t like the turf when finishing 10th. They put him back on dirt going a mile and he lost to Complexity, but I like the drop to 7 furlongs, and the fact that Castellano stays aboard.
8. Firenze Fire – Trained by Kelly Breen and ridden by Junior Alvarado. Frienze Fire has been one of the top sprinters in the country over the past few seasons, and has raced against the best of the best and was able to hold his own when doing so. As it currently stands we would be getting great value on a horse of this caliber, but it isn’t likely to be that way come race time. He has won 2 graded stakes in his last 4 races, and exits a loss to Whitmore in a race that he dropped back to last and had no chance against the type of pace he was facing. I look for him to stalk much closer and have a big chance turning for home.
9. Majestic Dunhill – Trained by George Weaver and ridden by Manny Franco. This will be a very tough ask for this one, as he has just 1 win at this distance, and has only placed in a graded stakes once. Trainer George Weaver is not having a good meet at Saratoga winning with just 4% of his starters. This looks to be very much like an uphill climb, and the fact he has no speed and will be sitting almost last doesn’t help his case here.
10. Mind Control – Trained by Gregory Sacco and ridden by John Velazquez. Last time out in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt he basically had no shot against top sprinter Volatile. Prior to that he was in very good form winning the Grade 1 Allen Jerkens, Grade 3 Toboggan, and Grade 3 Tom Fool. In 14 career starts he has racked up 7 wins, and loves racing at this 7 furlong distance. He is very versatile, and will be able to adapt to whatever pace there is in the race. He definitely rates a big chance in here.
11. Fortin Hill – Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz. This is a very intriguing horse in here. He has ran just 4 times, but has won 3 of those and ran a career best when trying 7 furlongs last race for the first time in his career. Chad Brown obviously thinks he has a talented colt here because this is a major jump in class. The outside draw does him no favors, but he has been improving with every start and may just put together a huge race.
1: #4 Funny Guy
2: #2 Whitmore
3: #7 Win Win Win
4: #8 Firenze FIre