Labor Day brings us a Monday with some big name tracks racing. Saratoga is enjoying the long weekend with a bonus racecard on Labor Day. The other notable racetrack open for racing on Labor Day is Del Mar. So, we have some stakes racing out east and west today. Gulfstream Park rounds out the top-3.
The smaller tracks will hold their typical Monday cards as well. The big event from yesterday was the $250,000 Del Debutante Stakes (Gr 1.) at Del Mar. Princess Noor put other fillies on notice, as she was electric to clear the field with ease in the stretch. Bob Baffert has yet another good one in his barn.
The highlight from the weekend was of course the 146th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Baffert found a way to get back into the winner’ circle with Authentic. The only thing I did wrong is hedge my futures bet. I had Authentic and Nadal back in March on a future’s ticket, and hedged with Tiz the Law on Derby Day.
I knew there was a chance Authentic could get there, but wasn’t exactly thrilled with his closing speed leading up to Saturday. He found it in him to fend off Tiz the Law and end what could have been a Triple Crown run at the Preakness in October. That is not going to happen, but we will have a wide open event at Pimlico. Saratoga has $1,072,000 spread out across 14 races on Labor Day. Head below for our free Saratoga picks for September 7, 2020.
Post Time: 1:04 p.m. EST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 4 is our first selection at Saratoga on Labor Day. This is a 7-furlong $33,000 event on the undercard. Larceny and Road to Meath should be the two horses to watch in this one. They’re both expected to play a role in the stretch.
Larceny gets the rail out of the gate and should be able to make Road to Meath work for a win. Larceny is 1 for 15 in his career with a solid run under his belt in his most recent entry on August 15.
He showed 3rd as a big underdog to finish 6 ¼ lengths behind Fevola, who is a very strong horse. After finishing 12th in back-to-back events, Larceny has been in better form to finish 4th, 4th, 5th, 3rd most recently.
There has been evidence of improvement for Larceny, and he might be able to gain even more on Monday. In his lone win, Larceny won on October 23, 2019 at Belmont Park for a $30,000 purse by a half length.
If Road to Meath can’t break well early, then Larceny might be able to steal a win here. Road to Meath is going to be a tough competitor to defeat, though. He is 1 for 10 in his career, with finishes of 1st, 5th, 3rd, 3rd in his previous four entries.
Road to Meath showed two races ago in March in a $51,000 event, and then came back in July to do the same in a $49,000 race. In his most recent win on October 18, 2019, Road to Meath won by 1 ½ lengths in a $52,000 event. This race on Monday is a significant class drop for him.
He’s been showing great form in the morning in prep work for today. Road to Meath completed 4 furlongs in 48.48, 47.21, and 48.96 seconds in August. This step down in class should provide a confidence booster for Road to Meath. A trip to the winner’s circle should be there against this competition.
Race 8 – Lure Stakes
Post Time: 4:40 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
We are stakes racing in Race 8 with the running of the $85,000 Lure Stakes on the turf track. Largent and Breaking the Rules both have their eyes on a hat-trick in Race 8. Largent has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st in his nice six-race career going into Monday. He is coming off a $52,000 allowance win in March over Temple by a half length. Largent took the lead at the ¾ pole and didn’t give it up.
He followed up with a win in his stakes debut in the $60,000 Edward P. Evans Stakes (Black Type) by a length. He was an overwhelming favorite and took care of the rest, as Largent shook loose in the stretch. It wasn’t as easy as his first win, but Largent got it done for the biggest win of his young career. The $460,000 Largent is coming off a nice workout on August 31, with a time of 47.89 seconds at 4 furlongs.
Largent will have to find a way to get away from Breaking the Rules. Breaking the Rules is coming off an impressive win in a $80,000 allowance race on July 29. Preceding that win, Breaking the Rules won by a half length over a very good horse, Digital Age, to win another $80,000 allowance outing.
Overall, Breaking the Rules is 6 for 13 in his career with experience in graded events. His best finish was 2nd in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (Gr. 3) at Gulfstream Park in March. His first stakes win was in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby (Listed) in 2018. Largent is an up and comer who has the talent to make this interesting in the stretch, though expect Breaking the Rules to edge out a win.
Race 13 – Runhappy Hopeful Stakes
Post Time: 5:50 p.m. EST
The Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (Gr. 1) should be a good one at Saratoga on Monday. Jackie’s Warrior and Reinvestment Risk could duel, with the talented Mutasaabeq stalking with a chance in the stretch. Reinvestment Risk was purchased at auction for $140,000 in 2019, and then for $280,000 in 2020.
The young colt made his debut on August 1 and ran well in a $72,000 maiden event to win by 7 ½ lengths in a blowout. Reinvestment Risk was up at the ½ pole and drove hard to take a comfortable lead. Reinvestment Risk has been in good form in the morning, with recorded times of 48.83 and 48.09 seconds at 4 furlongs, and a 1:01.33 workout at 5 furlongs two weeks ago.
The question for Reinvestment Risk on Labor Day is going to be whether the young colt has what it takes with an extra furlong to go. In his dominant win, Reinvestment Risk won with room to spare at 6 furlongs. From what I saw, Reinvestment Risk could have gone a lot longer than 6 furlongs, never mind questioning 7 furlongs.
Jackie’s Warrior is a perfect 2 for 2 to open his career. The Kentucky bred colt won at Churchill Downs as a first-time runner over Therideofalifetime by 2 ½ lengths in a $79,000 maiden event. Therideofalifetime is a strong horse, and Jackie’s Warrior made it look easy as the second favorite in the race.
His team felt comfortable in putting him in a Grade 2 race in only his second run, and it paid off in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (Gr. 2) on August 7. It was a wire-to-wire clinic by Jackie’s Warrior to beat the same horse, Therideofalifetime, by 3 lengths. There was no urging by jockey Joel Rosoria late, and Jackie’s Warrior had something left in the tank.
That said, Reinvestment Risk didn’t need any urging either and still managed to win by 7 ½ lengths. Chad Brown is high on him for good reason. He is an early 2021 Kentucky Derby candidate for Brown’s barn, and will likely get good value at post time on Monday in the Hopeful Stakes. Look for Reinvestment Risk and Jackie’s Warrior to run close, with Reinvestment Risk pulling away late.