2022 Amsterdam Stakes Odds & Bowling Green Preview

On Sunday, the Saratoga Race Course will witness one of the most anticipated returns of the whole season. The two-year-old champion, Corniche, will make his first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as he’s the favorite of the G2 2022 Amsterdam Stakes.

He’ll face other G1 scorers here, Pinehurst and Gunite, yet he’s the biggest star by far. Prior to his return, four-year-old and older horses will clash in the G2 Bowling Green Stakes on the turf surface, where veterans such as Arklow and Rockemperor face talented five-year-old Highland Chief.

Bowling Green

The G2 turf race attracted a field of six four-year-old and older horses competing for the purse of $250,000. They are about to cover the distance of a mile and three furlongs, with Arklow being a mild favorite here.

The eight-year-old horse has enjoyed a rich career of 36 starts and recorded six Graded victories, including the G1 Joe Hirsch Stakes in 2019. Since then, his form has been sort of stable. Although he subsequently didn’t impress in any of his outings among the elite, he was capable of running great races in 2021, bagging a G3 event and finishing second at the G2 stage.

Being one of two oldest participants of the Bowling Green Stakes, his age might take a toll; moreover, he hasn’t hit the track in the ongoing season, which didn’t seem to be a problem in the past, yet would help us to decipher what he could do on Sunday as an eight-year-old.

Alongside the Brad Cox bound horse, Cross Border is the other veteran heading to Saratoga with 42 racing experiences. The Michael Maker trained bay didn’t show that much in 2022 as he, indeed, was fifth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes but then took fourth place both in Listed and black-type. Still, Cross Border remains respected here because he delivered in two previous editions of the Bowling Green Stakes and these are the only Graded victories he’s ever achieved. He’s a sort of specialist, it seems.

Another participant to consider is Highland Chief, who spent the first part of his career in the United Kingdom, where he finished second in the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes, affirming to be a smart stayer in the making.

In 2022, he represents trainer Graham Motion for whom he didn’t perform in an Allowance race but then utterly denied the odds and scored the G1 Man o’War Stakes over a mile and three furlongs. Back then, he left behind stars like Gufo and Yibir, and therefore, he was more respected in the G1 Manhattan Stakes, resulting in fourth place for the five-year-old. If he gets a more peaceful trip on Sunday, he’s a victory candidate.

Chad Brown relies on a couple of well-known faces, Rockemperor and L’Imperator. The former scored the G1 Joe Hirsch Stakes in 2021, and he used to be a consistent horse at the Graded stage and should also do well here, while the latter isn’t really the epitome of reliability. His triumph would cause an upset, which applies to the biggest outsider, too, Cibolian.

Bowling Green Stakes Betting Pick

Highland Chief, who is on the right path to join the elite of the staying turf specialists.

L’Imperator (FR)Manuel Franco+600
ArklowIrad Ortiz, Jr.+200
Highland Chief (IRE)Trevor McCarthy+250
Cross BorderTyler Gaffalione+400
CibolianLuis Saez+1500
Rockemperor (IRE)Flavien Prat+300

Amsterdam Stakes

Nine three-year-olds will line up in this G1 dirt race held over the distance of six and a half furlongs. The purse of $200,000 lured in, especially Corniche. The unbeaten son of Quality Road recorded three starts as a two-year-old as, after bagging his debut, she conquered both in the G1 American Pharoah Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

However, the Todd Pletcher bound colt hasn’t hit the track since, according to his team, he’s a sprinter, and there were no suitable races for him earlier in the season. Although Corniche enjoyed quite a long pause and might need a start to return to the best shape, he is the favorite because his past efforts were simply impressive. The field comprises two other G1 winners, Pinehurst and Gunite

Like Corniche, Pinehurst is also an ex-Baffert trainee as currently, he’s with John Terranova; still, he achieved his biggest triumph under the previous trainer by scoring the G1 Del Mar Futurity as a two-year-old. In the BC Juvenile, he finished fifth, upon which he entered the new season with second place in the G2 San Vicente Stakes.

Subsequently, his team pointed him to Saudi Arabia, where Pinehurst triumphed in the G3 Saudi Derby, yet his attempt to repeat the performance in Dubai was in vain as he finished 16th. He’s always been giving these vibes that he handles middle distances but would much prefer something shorter, which he has an opportunity to prove on Sunday.

Gunite prevailed in the last year’s G1 Hopeful Stakes for Steven Asmussen, while in 2022, he was out two times, finishing second in an Allowance and winning a black-type. He looks like a place contender, nothing more, which applies to Pappacap as well. The Mark Casse bound colt recorded two second places among the elite in 2021, and his seasonal debut was quite anticipated, yet he failed to affirm to be a Kentucky Derby horse in each of his outings.

Instead of Classic Glory, he focused on the mile-long trips in the G2 Pat Day Mile Stakes and G1 Woody Stephens Stakes, where he gave very promising efforts as he achieved second places. It’s a question of whether he’ll likes even shorter distances, but he could be the dark horse of the race.

The last contestant to mention is Accretive, trained by Chad Brown. The son of Practical Joke had only a debut under his belt that he turned into an easy victory. He should benefit from the weight advantage; however, he might not be ready to take on such a fierce field now.

Amsterdam Stakes Betting Prediction

Corniche. Although it’ll be his first outing of the 2022 season, he aims even among the better company in the future, so he should handle Sunday’s one. Pappacap could be the best of the rest.

PinehurstFlavien Prat+600
GuniteTyler Gaffalione+400
PappacapJoel Rosario+600
AccretiveIrad Ortiz, Jr.+350
RunninsonofagunKendrick Carmouche+2000
CornicheLuis Saez+250
My PranksterJohn R. Velazquez+800
Surfer DudeJose L. Ortiz+1200
Hoist the GoldJunior Alvarado+2000

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