2017 Forego Stakes and Sword Dancer Stakes Preview
9.12 Saratoga, Forego Stakes
Both Drefong and Mind Your Biscuits have to concede up to 6lb to their rivals, but they look much better than the others. Drefong has beaten Mind Your Biscuits both times they have clashed, by 4 lengths at this meeting last year over, today’s distance of 7 furlongs and again in the Breeders Cup Sprint by just over a length.
While Mind Your Biscuits looks to have improved since those defeats, Drefong only made his seasonal Debut on the 30th July. Drefong unseated Mike Smith, first time out, break his winning run of 4 races in the process and comes here with slight doubts over his readiness for today’s race but at a best priced 5/2 he could be worth chancing that he is fully wound-up for this.
Drefong is the lone speed in this race, with the field made up of hold-up horses on a track that is running very fast. Last year the track was also in a similar condition with A P Indian setting a new record time of 1:20.99 for this 7 furlong race. A really fast surface will be to Drefong’s advantage and with no serious pace threat he should get an easy time of it upfront.
Drefong, 5/2 Paddy Power
9.49 Saratoga, Sword Dancer Stakes
Only 7 runners in this year’s race, which doesn’t seem to have any obvious pace so this could turn in to a messy race. Idahao is odds-on with the UK bookies, but is forecast to go off around 2/1 on the US tote. He ran ran poorly when sent off favourite in the Canadian International, his only other trip across the Atlantic, finishing fifth to Erupt, who re-opposes again today.
Erupt is forecast to go off around 3/1 on the US tote but can be backed at 5/1 with the UK bookmakers, which I think is a fair price considering how well he ran in Canada. Neither Idahao or Erupt are regular visitors to the winners enclosure, with Idaho being sent of favourite 5 times and only winning once and Erupt just winning the once in Canada since July 2015 (1 from 11).
The one thing Erupt does have in his favour is his liking for quick ground and having adapted well to the racing in Canada, he should be more capable of putting in a rare good run. If the race does lack pace then he has the turn of foot that can prove decisive off a slower pace. If it wasn’t for his two poor runs on rain softened ground this season he would probably be going off favourite for this race.
Of the Americans, Money Multiplier and Sadlers Joy look the two most likely to trouble the Europeans, they can be backed at 13/2 and 12/1 respectively with the UK bookmakers but are only forecast to go off at 7/2 and 5/1 on the US tote. While I’m siding with Erupt to win, at the prices I will have small savers on the US runners at the best UK prices.
Erupt, 5/1 Ladbrokes
Savers on Money Multiplier (13/2) and Sadlers Joy (12/1), Paddy Power