New York (NY) – Sunday, August 19, 2018 — 2:30:00 PM EST
The Upper New York Special – 6.5 Furlongs on Dirt
Grade II — Purse : $375,000
Restricted to 2 Year Olds
Ten colts take to the starting gate in New York on Sunday for the Grade II Upper New York Special. Each of these two-year-olds is looking for his first graded stakes win, with two moving up immediately after breaking their maidens. The race will be run over a fast dirt track for 6.5 furlongs.
Starting on the rail is Tweet Storm (10/1), the most successful of Smarty Jones’ two-year-olds this season. He has won two of three starts and arrives in New York following a two-and-a-half month layoff. The morning line reflects the slow paces of his two wins in addition to a dud of a result posted on short rest in his only other race.
Hawaii Moon (7/2) struggled in a previous attempt at the Grade II level, but has otherwise impressed with steady improvement since the beginning of his career in April. Won the 6.5 furlong ASR DIRT Stakes Shootout in a 15 horse field and son of the 2009 DPCD VIII Thxmsslew Handicap champion so winning at about this distance as a 2-year-old runs in the family. One of only two stakes winners in the field and the early favorite.
Next in line is I Created Awesome (10/1). Its been all wins and places so far despite long odds in two of his four races. Will likely set the early pace and try to surprise the field going wire to wire. Knows this track well after three straight races in New York.
FSS Bobby Birdsong (7/1) is a decent shout after improving in each race this year. This will be his first race going off at 8/1 or better after winning two of his three starts from the front. A relatively cheaply bred colt, his sire Bird Song and dam sire Hennessey are available for 211 breeding points total in the current market.
Vote Saxon (17/1) is the longshot. Broke his maiden after three attempts in Delaware and headed straight north to take on a much tougher challenge. Still, he won at over 10/1 last time out and also like the lead so there may be an outside shot at a yellow GP badge if everything comes together.
Alan From Florida (7/1) will be starting in the sixth gate. Just missed out by half a length at the Grade II Stanford in late July so his owner barleduc1 decided to have another go in New York. Only horse in this race to have tried the turf, winning a 6 furlong allowance race in his home country of Australia back in April.
To his outside will be starting Survive (9/2). This colt came from way back to win his only previous start. That came in an off track, making him even more of an unknown for Sunday. The breeding alone (UNCLE MO x CURLIN x PULPIT) may be worth a wager though.
Breaking Wicked (6/1) has an impressive set of top-three finishes as a maiden and in two subsequent ungraded stakes races. This will be his first trip north after spending time in Texas, Arkansas, and Mexico. His 87 SP# last time out is the fastest recorded by any of the starters in this race.
Making a late kick Sunday will likely be Loyal Chief (5/1). Came from off the pace to finish third in the Grade III Television Stakes and second in the ungraded Rusty Digger Dirt Juvenile. Otherwise has two solid sprint wins to his record from earlier this year.
Harlan’s Gun (8/1) rounds out the field. The only gelding, he looks to continue his slow but steady progress over 2018. With a third-place finish in the Grade III Manor of Bashford and three other wins, he has the highest career earnings in the field at $135,000.