Trainer Todd Pletcher will send a pair of debut winners into their first career stakes start as Meade and Spinoff comprise one-third of a six-horse field of juveniles in the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.
Listed as Race 8 on a 10-race card with an approximate post time of 5:02 p.m., the 113th running of the Saratoga Special will be shown on Saratoga Live, which will air from 4-6:30 p.m. ET regionally on MSG+, FS2, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego.
Meade was impressive in his first start, posting a 2 ½-length score in a maiden special weight on July 7 over six furlongs at Belmont Park. Owned by St. Elias Stable and MeB Racing Stables, Meade won over a fast track on Big Sandy.
Last August, Meade was purchased for $250,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale located across the street from the Spa. The Street Sense colt returned to Saratoga to train last month and registered two breezes on the Oklahoma training track, including a four-furlong work in 49.21 seconds on Sunday.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will have the return call from the rail.
Spinoff, Meade’s stablemate, rallied to win his first start, recording a 1 ¼-length win on June 23 at Gulfstream Park. A son of Hard Spun, Spinoff has been given ample time to acclimate to Saratoga, where he has breezed five times since arriving from Palm Beach Downs.
“Both horses are training well and both horses are bred to run longer. We’re looking forward to getting them started again,” Pletcher said.
Hall of Famer John Velazquez picks up the mount and will leave from post 3.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will also saddle a pair of contenders, led by the field’s only graded stakes winner in Sir Truebadour. The More Than Ready colt broke his maiden at first asking on May 17 at Churchill Downs in a five-furlong sprint, and that four-length win prompted his Hall of Fame conditioner to move him up to stakes company, where he was bumped at the start en route to a fourth-place finish in the Tremont on June 8 at Belmont.
Undeterred, Sir Truebadour took another step up in class and thrived, going gate-to-wire to capture the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at six furlongs on June 30 at Churchill.
Owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, Sir Truebadour will stretch out in distance for the fourth time in four starts. The Kentucky bred, who was purchased for $300,000 at the same sale as Meade, has breezed once on the Saratoga main track, training track, and Oklahoma turf track, respectively. Joel Rosario picks up the mount from post 5.
Tight Ten, a Tapit colt, won his debut for Asmussen, besting Ready and Rich by four lengths over six furlongs on June 28 at Churchill. The Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred will take the step up in class and have the services of jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. from post 4.
Call Paul, also a maiden winner for trainer Jason Servis, drew post 2 with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. The Jason Servis trainee earned a 79 Beyer Speed Figure for his win over 5 ½ furlongs on July 5 at Delaware Park and will look to make the transition to Saratoga after training at Monmouth Park.
Stage Left will be coming off a four-month layoff following his four-length debut win on April 25 at Keeneland. After drawing away to best a 12-horse field, Stage Left, trained by Wesley Ward, will look to go 2-for-2 in drawing post 6 with Jose Lezcano aboard.