Test Stakes 2021 Entries: Search Results leads field of eight

Bob Baffert sends out Illumination in the Grade I Test at Saratoga on Saturday
Bob Baffert sends out Illumination in the Grade I Test at Saratoga on Saturday

Kentucky Oaks runner-up Search Results leads a field of eight for the $500,000 Grade I Test Stakes at Saratoga this Saturday. Part of a trio of top-class races that makes up Races 8-10 on the card.

Neil Monnery has an overview of the field after the Post Position draw…

Test Stakes 2021 Entries, Post Positions & M/L Odds
  • Post Position
  • Name of Horse
  • Morning Line Odds

Post Position

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

Name of Horse

  • Illumination
  • Souper Sensational
  • Zaajel
  • Obligatory
  • Always Carina
  • Make Mischief
  • Search Results
  • Bella Sofia

Morning Line Odds

  • 12-1
  • 6-1
  • 8-1
  • 4-1
  • 3-1
  • 12-1
  • 5-2
  • 6-1

It is no surprise that the Chad Brown trained Search Results has opened as the 5-2 favorite on the Morning Line for this one. This three-year-old won last time out against a top quality field in the Grade I Acorn and before that was bested by the mighty fine Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks. Clearly a top quality filly who will be the one to beat for many.

Her stablemate Always Carina is the second choice at 3-1. With fine runs breaking her maiden and in an Allowance race whilst putting up a 92 Beyer Speed Figure (in the second race doing so whilst losing a shoe) put her alongside the likes of Malathaat and Search Results but she disappointed in getting beaten by Zaajel in the Mother Goose. Every chance to bounce back and a Brown 1-2 in some order will be a popular play at the windows.

That reversal was a big surprise as the Todd Pletcher trained daughter of Street Sense hadn’t looked like a filly that was in the upper echelons of this year's three-year-olds. She is sent out again here but is the sixth choice at 8-1 and would be a pass for me.

A much more interesting selection may well be 4-1 choice Obligatory. This daughter of Curlin won the Eight Belles and gave Search Results a fright in the Acorn up at Belmont in early June. A real powerful filly who has fantastic closing speed. Bill Mott has the horse who can really get in the mix and if she’s anywhere near coming down the stretch, expect her to go close.

Another daughter of Curlin entered for this race is Souper Sensational for trainer Mark Casse. She finally won a Graded Stakes race last time out where she beat a relatively average field in the Grade III Victory Ride at Belmont. 6-1 is short for me and I wouldn’t be inclined to play her even in deep exotics.

No doubt plenty of column inches will be spent on 12-1 shot Illumination, who Bob Baffert has sent over to Saratoga following getting his injunction to race horses up on the NYRA circuit. This filly has very little in the way of quality on her resume but after a break, this daughter of Medaglia d’Oro broke her maiden and looked mightily impressive doing it. There is a lot of chatter that she’s the best three-year-old filly at Baffert’s barn.

If she’s anywhere near that price come Post Time I’d be inclined to hit it hard because I seriously doubt under the current circumstances that the Hall of Fame trainer would send anyone out to the Spa unless he seriously thought they could win.

Make Mischief and Bella Sofia round out the field. The former has placed several times at top level but is yet to take a victory against top quality competition. The latter looked very tidy in breaking her maiden back in May but would have to really step it up to get in the mix in this one.

Our man J.N. Campbell will be here on Friday evening with his preview of the card at Saratoga. So check back then for our final thoughts on the race but I might be taking the Baffert long shot for big value - if - and it is a big if - she stays at such a big price in the pools.

Saratoga Picks, Entries and Results