Today’s Saratoga 2nd is an N1X turf mile for New York bred fillies and mares. Ack Naughty (8) makes her first start since finishing second in the Chelsea Flower at Belmont last October. She will be chalk, though: she races for ace turf trainer Chad Brown, gets Irad Ortiz back in the irons, and has been on the worktab since May. Her best will be tough for anyone to beat.
However, between the layoff and the fact that she has unknown Saratoga form (both her starts have been at Belmont), it makes sense to look for an upset candidate. Skinner Box (2) has a lot to offer at a square price. She is the speed of the speed. Last out she put on blinkers for the first time, and responded well at a similar level. She ran her best race since her maiden win. After stumbling at the start she got to the front, and handled constant pace pressure. Skinner Box stayed on as the others who pressed her (particularly Jules N Rome) could not, and finished third beaten only a length. She keeps the blinkers on here, and cuts back from a mile and a sixteenth last out to a mile. Though Resolutely and Aesthetique have shown early speed, Skinner Box is the faster horse.
With Kelly’s Prize, English Minister, and Plainview all getting it done on the front end over the inner turf so far this meet — Skinner Box could, too.