2023 Lake George Stakes: Surge Capacity debut triumph

Two upwardly mobile three-year-olds grabbed the spotlight at Saratoga on Friday, both making their stakes breakthrough on the way hopefully to bigger things. Surge Capacity kept her unbeaten record intact with a game score in the G3 2023 Lake George Stakes, and Scotland led every step of the way for an impressive success in the ungraded Curlin.

Breeders Cup Odds

Lake George Stakes

G3, $175,000, 1m turf, 3yo fillies

Capacity surges to the fore

There may be a pattern emerging. Just as he did last week, Chad Brown won the feature at Saratoga with the outsider of his four runners, as Surge Capacity landed Friday’s Lake George on her stakes debut with a determined defeat of barnmate Tax Implications and Secret Money.

The 11-2 shot was graduating directly from her debut win and overcame her inexperience to remain unbeaten, getting a dream run up the fence under Joel Rosario to lead in mid-stretch before battling on gamely to turn back the late thrust of Tax Implications by three-quarters of a length; both horses are owned by Klaravich Stables. The long-time leader Secret Money hung around to claim the show spot, a neck further back.

“She has always trained like a good horse,” said Brown, winning his fifth straight Lake George and a record-extending seventh overall. “I didn’t know how she’d handle the [yielding] turf but it clearly wasn’t a problem.”

Surge Capacity now joins the well-populated ranks of Brown’s Graded-class turf fillies and mares, but the master trainer is toying with the idea of switching her to the main track later this year.

2023 Lake George Stakes Payouts

1. Surge Capacity13.005.104.20
2. Tax Implications 4.403.50
3. Secret Money  5.10

Winning time: 1m 38.00s

Curlin Stakes

Ungraded, $135,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo

Scotland shows his strength

Bill Mott has made a fast start to the Saratoga meet and hit the bullseye again when Scotland made his stakes breakthrough in the Curlin, going gate-to-wire to see off longshot Il Miracolo and odds-on favourite Blazing Sevens.

The Good Magic gelding is now three-for-four and there could be plenty more to come on this evidence, as the 2-1 second-choice set fair fractions on the lead under Junior Alvarado and quickened impressively in the stretch before drawing off to take the money by three and a quarter lengths. Il Miracolo raced in second throughout and had three lengths in hand over the disappointing 2023 Preakness runner-up Blazing Sevens at the line.

“This was a test to see if he could go two turns, get nine furlongs and act on the track,” said Mott. “He answered all those questions and the Travers could be on his list.”

The $1.25m G1 Travers (August 26) is the showpiece of the summer at Saratoga and at present all three winners of this year’s Triple Crown races – Mage, National Treasure and Arcangelo – plus last year’s champion Breeders Cup Juvenile colt Forte are pointing that way.

2023 Curlin Stakes Payouts

1. Scotland6.904.102.20
2. Il Miracolo 10.403.30
3. Blazing Sevens  2.10

Winning time: 1m 49.12s

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