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Check out our predictions and odds for the Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga!
WAR LIKE GODDESS
I Ortiz Jr
H G Motion
H G Motion
*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$50 Win - War Like Goddess = $50
$10 Exacta - War Like Goddess over Sopran Basilea = $10
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick War Like Goddess (7/5).
A winner of nearly $2.2 million, War Like Goddess looks to return to her winning ways when she headlines a field of seven older turf mares set for Thursday’s Grade 2 Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga.
Trained by Bill Mott, the 6-year-old daughter of English Channel was the beaten favorite last time in her second start of the year in the Grade 1 New York, but will now return to her preferred distance of 12-furlongs on Thursday.
After closing out last season with a strong third to the males in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, War Like Goddess returned in April to easily win the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland.
Chief among her challengers in the $250,000 feature will be the Chad Brown-trained McKulick.
One of two in the race for America’s top turf trainer, the Grade 1 winner has not won yet in two starts this year but finished ahead of War Like Goddess when third in the New York.
Sopran Basilea, meanwhile, comes from the barn of Graham Motion and was a Group 2 winner in Italy before arriving in the United States.
A good second in her American debut in May, the Irish-bred daughter of Night of Thunder comes in off a win in the Grade 3 Dick Memorial at Delaware Park.
This daughter of English Channel has been knocking on the door of a championship in each of the last two seasons, and at 12-furlongs, she has been nearly unbeatable for her Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
While it’s true that she has lost two of her last three, her performance in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Turf was excellent, and she was hampered by both a lack of early pace and too short a trip last time in the New York.
Back at 1 1/2-miles for this one, she should be right back at her strength. She also should have a more reasonable pace to run at on Thursday. The 6-year-old mare is all class and is the top pick on Thursday.
The first of two for the always dangerous Chad Brown barn, this Frankel mare did little wrong in her first two seasons on the racetrack, including a win in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks last summer.
She has yet to find that sweet spot in two starts this year, but having said that, she did not run poorly in either the Grade 3 Modesty or the Grade 1 New York. With a stronger pace likely in this one, she should have every chance to shine in her first try at 12-furlongs.
An obvious threat on class, the likely second choice must be respected, but with a similar running style as War Like Goddess, I cannot pick her on top.
An Irish-bred mare who ran her first two seasons in Italy, this daughter of Night of Thunder has run two solid races since beginning her American career for trainer Graham Motion.
Her rallying second behind Whitebeam in the Grade 3 Gallorette was flattered when the winner defeated In Italian in the Grade 1 Diana next out. Her second start here came when stretching out and winning the Grade 3 Dick Memorial at Delaware Park.
She once again closed fast in the 11-furlong race on soft turf and now steps up to face top competition in this Grade 2 test. The way she has been finishing, she may be the biggest threat to the top one.
The second of the Brown mares, this German-bred 6-year-old finished third behind War Like Goddess in this race last year. She did beat the favorite when winning the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Saratoga last summer, but that one had a pretty big excuse that day.
The Soldier Hollow mare has proven dangerous in distance races over the years, but her best performances have come when she has been out on the lead on a slow pace, which is not likely here.
The veteran is one of several in the race with the ability to pull an upset on Thursday, but I do like others better in this spot, however.
One of two German-bred mares in the field, this daughter of Protectionist has made three starts for trainer Christophe Clement since coming over from her native land. She finished with a flourish in her U.S. debut to win the Grade 3 Orchid at Gulfstream Park while going 12-furlongs.
She has managed only a pair of fourth-place finishes since, though. Having said that, she got absolutely no pace to run at in the Sheepshead Bay two starts back and then took on the males last time in the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup at 2 miles.
Back at 12 furlongs for this one, she could be poised to run her best on Thursday and is an interesting alternative if you are looking to take a shot against the favorite.
A stakes winner each of her first two seasons on the track, this 4-year-old daughter of Noble Mission will look to prove that she can compete with the big girls this year. Having shown some early speed in each of her first two starts of the season, she should be involved early.
While she hasn’t won yet this year, her last start, beaten less than a length in the Grade 3 Eatontown, was a solid performance for trainer Graham Motion.
She’s never run this far before, but her career best performance came when she was stretched to 10 ½-furlongs in her penultimate start of last season. She’s in with a shot, but will likely weaken in the stretch against this quality field.
The good news for the rank outsider of the field is that she has won four of her last five races. The bad news is that they came against claiming competition, and not particularly strong claimers at that.
Claimed for only $10,000 out of her last race at Penn National, she will be making a huge jump up in class on Thursday.
While she may have the speed to be involved early, I find her hard to recommend as far as sticking around when the real running begins.
Glens Falls Stakes Race Information
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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