SARATOGA SPRINGS — He won’t be 27-1 this time.
In fact, Ascend is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the Grade II Bowling Green as he attempts to add to a three-race winning streak on Saturday’s Jim Dandy undercard.
Stepping up to graded stakes company for the first time in his 14-race career, the son of Candy Ride was the second longest shot on the board out of nine horses in the Grade I Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day, but won by 1 1/4 lengths in his first race with Jose Ortiz riding.
This will be Ascend’s first race longer than a mile and a quarter.
“That’s also something I want to see is how he handles it [added distance], because that will help us make decisions for the rest of the year with him,” trainer Graham Motion told the New York Racing Association. “Plus, the fact that we’re already there and Jose is able to ride him, there’s a lot of upside.”
Sadler’s Joy just missed second place behind Ascend in the Manhattan and will take another crack at him in the Bowling Green.
“Hopefully he gets a better trip going a little longer than the Manhattan,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “That should definitely suit him as well, so we’re looking forward to stretching him out a little more.”
A return to Saratoga could be just the move to stop a modest losing streak for A. P. Indian, who, at 5-2, is the slight favorite in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at six furlongs.
He swept the graded dirt sprints last season, the Vanderbilt and Forego, while in the midst of a five-race winning streak that ended when he was fourth to Drefong (who is the 5-2 favorite in the Grade…
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