A full field of experienced turf milers faces the starter in the G3 2022 Forbidden Apple Stakes, the highlight at Saratoga on Friday, with track specialist Public Sector and Analyze It representing defending champion trainer Chad Brown against G1-placed Mira Mission and Set Piece.
2022 Forbidden Apple Stakes
Grade 3, $175,000, 1m turf, 4yo+
With a dozen horses in the gate for the 2022 Forbidden Apple Stakes, the first Graded stakes on turf at the outstanding Saratoga meet, a fast pace seems assured and that may set up the race for the late-closers in the field.
This could be an ideal situation for Set Piece (3-1), who appreciates a ton of pace to run at and returned to something like his best when coming late to win the mile-sixteenth G2 Dinner Party at Pimlico in May, with long-time leader Atone (6-1) beaten a length and a half into third and now zero-for five in stakes.
Set Piece was runner-up over course and distance in last year’s G1 Fourstardave, but he isn’t as effective here as local hero Chad Brown and his leading contender Public Sector (6-1), who is three-for-three at the Spa.
Public Sector showed improvement following a lackluster start to 2022 when a rallying third in the G3 Poker over a mile at Belmont Park last month, a nose behind one of today’s likely pace threats Wolfie’s Dynaghost (15-1), and a nose ahead of Sanctuary City (20-1), who is zero-for-nine in stakes and was eighth of nine in this race a year ago.
The pace set-up should play to his strengths and he is much preferred to barn mate Analyze It (15-1), another pace angle who hit the board in three G1s back in 2018 but has not been at that level since, although he did show a flicker of his old self when stakes-placed last time.
Last time out Mira Mission (7-2) ran a career-best when runner-up in the G1 Turf Classic over a mile-eighth at Churchill Downs Race Course – Public Sector sixth – and on his previous start finished ahead of Set Piece but behind Atone in the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland. He’s a major player and may move up again, and is another who will appreciate a fast pace.
That could also be supplied by front-runner Get Smokin (10-1), G2-placed here and denied a gate-to-wire win when caught on the line and beaten a head in the G3 Arlington at Churchill Downs last month, or by Clear Vision (30-1), although he hasn’t shown the class to make it stick.
Consistency is an issue for City Man (8-1), who has missed the board twice since beating Sanctuary City by two and a quarter lengths in a mile stakes at Aqueduct, but not for Yes And Yes (20-1), who comes here on a roll after three sprint scores at allowance level at Belmont Park. He has never won anywhere else, though, and is an unappealing zero-for-four here.
Forbidden Apple Stakes Prediction
An intriguing contest of early speed and late closers can go to PUBLIC SECTOR, who reserves his best for this track and looked more like his old self on his most recent start.
Forbidden Apple Stakes Odds
|HORSE||JOCKEY||2022 FORBIDDEN APPLE STAKES ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Set Piece (GB)||Florent Geroux||+300|
|Wolfie’s Dynaghost||Luis Saez||+1500|
|Mira Mission||Julien R. Leparoux||+350|
|Yes and Yes||John R. Velazquez||+2000|
|Clear Vision||Eric Cancel||+3000|
|Analyze It||Jose L. Ortiz||+1500|
|Public Sector (GB)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||+600|
|Get Smokin||Javier Castellano||+1000|
|City Man||Joel Rosario||+800|
|Sanctuary City||Kendrick Carmouche||+2000|
|Art Collector||Luis Saez||-165|
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