Adirondack Stakes Preview

The Adirondack Stakes (GII) at Saratoga has long served as one of the track’s stepping stones for juvenile fillies. Several who have won this race have gone on to have very successful careers, such as champions Sky Beauty, Storm Song and My Miss Aurelia.

Seven fillies are set to go to post in Friday’s Adirondack Stakes. One has already bested her male peers and another has a pedigree similar to superstars Rachel Alexandra and Songbird. Will either of them win or will an outsider prove best?

US Racing’s Laura Pugh and Laurie Ross attempt to give you the answer.

PP Name Laura’s Thoughts Laurie’s Thoughts

(Maclean’s Music – Heathersdaddysbaby,
by Badge)

The daughter McLean’s Music scored nicely at Monmouth Park, but will have to step it up against better at Saratoga. If she wants the lead she’ll have to go toe to toe with Silvertoni, who is already proven in stakes company.

Maclean’s Music is off to an excellent start at stud with six winners from 12 starters. This filly wasn’t seriously tested in her debut and other than a “let’s go” tap, was hand-ridden through six furlongs in an average 1:10.92. Her five-furlong split was 58.43 seconds. Romantic Music was under a hold for much of the race and didn’t appear to be speed-crazy when pressured, meaning that she could probably rate if necessary. She turns around in 14 days.


(Arch – Cool Storm,
by Storm Cat)

Like Romantic Music, she also is shipping in from Monmouth. She won in her second try, romping away by over seven lengths. However, her last breeze for this was a slow 1:02.86 for five furlongs over the course. With a questionable work and with a so-so draw this may not be the best spot to play Nonna Mela.


Nona Mela improved her Brisnet speed figure from her first to second start. She stumbled at the break in her debut, was 3-wide the entire way, yet cruised home with ease in :58.40 for the five furlongs. Extra distance will help this classy daughter of Arch. This is a distaff line of classic winners and champions. The filly’s dam is a full sister to Bluegrass Cat, who was second in the Kentucky Derby and Travers. This is also the female family of Derby winner Super Saver.



(Speightstown – Venetian Sonata, by  Bernardini)

Disappointed as the second favorite in her stakes debut in the Schuylerville (GIII). Not many things went right for her that day in the lead-up to the race. She was fractious in the paddock and ended up needing a shoe repair. Who knows if that threw her off of her game. Still, she has not demonstrated the talent to inspire the confidence that her best effort can win in this spot.  

Olive Branch was right there through smokin’ early fractions of :21.68 and :44.79 in the Schuylerville. She probably could have held on for third, but as Sweet Loretta passed her, Harlan’s Thunder ducked in, bashing Olive Branch sideways, causing Olive Branch to briefly lose momentum. Olive Branch continued on gamely, and just missed the photo for fourth place to Made Me Shiver, the horse who had been in second place. Olive Branch passed that one a stride past the wire. Considering the pre-race antics and shoe issue, Olive Branch ran a very game race. The filly has a classy distaff family.  Her dam is a full sister to Grade II winner and sire Wilburn and a half-sister to Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII) winner Beethoven.



(Dialed In – Cadebrie,
by Tiznow)

A son of Dialed In just took last week’s Saratoga Special (GII), can his daughter take home the Adirondack? Ellis Park isn’t exactly a place that shoots out top juveniles and trainer D. Wayne Lukas isn’t exactly in his prime. The Coach does like to surprise at long odds every once in a while, but I’ll take a pass on this one.

  Don’t count the Coach out yet. He has forgotten more about training than most will ever learn and I’ll take old and sneaky over young and optimistic any day. He won this race four years straight in the ’80s. Dial Me won her six-furlong race under a hand ride in 1:10.53.  Who did she beat? A daughter of Bodiemeister, whose dam is a half to a nice herd of stakes winners, and daughters of Bernardini and Blame from nice families.  Dial Me’s distaff line isn’t as illustrious as some in here, but she had a nice breeze two back.


(Medaglia d’Oro – Foxy Danseur, by Mr. Greeley)

Unbelievably professional in her very impressive debut victory. She sat off the pace, took plenty of dirt, raced inside and between foes and still drew away with authority. If there is a filly to beat Silvertoni this one is the one to do it. She is by the filly super-sire Medaglia d’Oro, by a Mr. Greeley mare. There is a lot of speed there, but plenty of stamina influences as well. I’ll take this little filly for the win.   I agree, it was a very nice debut by the leggy daughter of Medaglia d’Oro. Ever So Clever is a half to the stakes-placed turf runners Miss Centerfold and Tathqeef and, physically, she resembles her dam, who was a solid juvenile stakes winner in California.


(Tapit – Somasach,
by Johannesburg)

This fleet-footed little grey couldn’t have a more precocious pedigree being by Tapit out of a Johannesburg mare. She is unbeaten here in America, with her only loss coming on turf over at Royal Ascot. In her last US start she defeated males in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes. If she can come back from her trip to Europe in fine fettle, she will be tough to beat… but that’s a big “if.” She is a very deserving favorite, but coming back from a long trip I’ll take a stand against her.   After beating the boys in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes, Royal Ascot was a little too ambitious. I can see why they took a shot. Silvertoni’s dam was a Group 3-placed juvenile in Ireland. The second dam, Easy Now, won the Astoria and Grade I Maskette Stakes (now the Go For Wand). Oh, and she’s a half-sis to Champion Easy Goer. Silvertoni is fast, but I don’t think she needs the lead to win. She looked relaxed on the lead in the Kentucky Juvenile in the early stages and didn’t appear to have that intense attitude that some of the Tapit runners have… maybe because her third dam’s name is Relaxing.

(Tiz Wonderful –
Christmas Lily,
by Marquetry)

The daughter of Tiz Wonderful is coming off an impressive victory at Belmont Park where she overcame a wide trip to win by one and a half lengths. She should get a good pace to run at in this spot, but the question is will she be good enough to capitalize off of it for the win? She ran the final 1/16th of her maiden win in 5.85 seconds, according to Trakus, so there is a good shot that she is.  

I agree, Libby’s Tail ran a very professional race. Irad Ortiz eased her off of a quick pace and she showed a strong late kick down the stretch. Libby’s Tail’s dam won the Houston Distaff at 1 1/16 miles. There’s some class in the third generation, but not as much as the competition.

Laura’s Selections: 5-7-6-4
Laurie’s Selections:

US Racing Team
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.
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