You can go ahead and add another face to the backside for the summer meeting at Saratoga Race Course, which kicks off Friday. Trainer Ron Moquett will send a string of seven to compete against the best of the best at the track celebrating its 150th year of racing this summer.
“If I could afford to bring more to Saratoga I would,” Moquett said. “There’s just so much excitement here, and you always got to compete against the best.”
Three horses that will be a part of Moquett’s Saratoga string won their last starts and are also scheduled to run against stakes competition. Gentlemen’s Bet, the winner of the Iowa Sprint at Prairie Meadows last time out against the highly regarded Delaunay, is scheduled to run in the Grade 1 A. G. Vanderbilt Aug. 4. The Half Ours colt is 5-for-6 in his career, and Moquett says that he’s the most excited about this horse.
“Not sure what kind of field we will be facing in the Vanderbilt,” he said. “But at this point we just want to get this horse to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Moquett’s Saratoga string will also consist of Right to Vote, who won the Kelly’s Landing at Churchill last time out for his first stakes victory. The Political Force gelding is entered in next Saturday’s Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park, but could start in the Grade 3 James Marvin Stakes opening day. Moquett acquired Right to Vote earlier this year and he’s found the winner circle twice in four starts since. He describes Right to Vote, who previously raced for Casner Racing and Eoin Harty, as “brave” and “very athletic.”
“This horse is just learning to run,” he said.
Livi Makenzie also won at Prairie Meadows last time out, taking the Saylorville Stakes, and she returns to Saratoga and graded company for the first time since finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Prioress at last year’s meet. Moquett said the daughter of Macho Uno, who could go in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss July 29, has improved considerably.
“She’s matured a lot since I’ve had her,” he stated, “She is definitely a lot more on her game now.”
Moquett’s Saratoga group also includes the 2-year-old fillies Silver Valley and Annuity.
Silver Valley, a daughter of Silver Train, ran fourth last time out in the Debutante Stakes at Churchill and broke her maiden in her first attempt at Lone Star Park. Annuity is an unraced daughter of Flatter.