Loose on the Town

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Gary Sciacca needed 20 minutes Thursday morning.

A crisis had just been diverted but stress was still palpable. Twenty minutes later, the affable trainer had returned to normal.

As did Saratoga Snacks.

The day before taking on five rivals in the Evan Shipman, Saratoga Snacks dropped his rider and got loose, for 10 strides. The nine-time winner was caught and led home.

The bad news was, of course, that he got loose. The good news, he’s done that before.

“He only jogged 10 feet and they caught him. Thank God,” Sciacca said. “The day before the race, he gets bad. Up here, a few years ago, the day before he won, he got loose coming off the main track. He got loose another time at Belmont, the day before he won.”

Saratoga Snacks rolls into today’s $100,000 New York-bred feature fresh off a win in the restricted Saginaw July 18 at Belmont Park. Owned and trained by Sciacca, the son of Tale Of The Cat breezed three times in preparation for his fourth attempt at 9 furlongs.

“He’s doing real good at this point,” Sciacca said, as Saratoga Snacks cooled out under the trees in front of Sciacca’s Horse Haven barn. “I was going to run him earlier and I figured, ‘ah, don’t get greedy.’ He likes time off between spots, he’s doing real good.”

Saratoga Snacks won seven races for Sciacca and owner Bill Parcells before departing for Bill Mott’s barn from August to December last year. He went winless in five starts before rejoining Sciacca, where he’s won two of four starts including the Saginaw going 1 1/16-miles at Belmont. He’ll stretch another sixteenth and go two turns today.

To read the rest of the Evan Shipman preview, download Friday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.