Saratoga Springs

Public Sector has affinity for Spa heading into Forbidden Apple

Public Sector, right, wins the Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 6, 2021.
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Public Sector, right, wins the Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 6, 2021.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Trainer Chad Brown said on Wednesday morning that Public Sector had “lost his way” in his training.

Then the Saratoga Race Course meet showed up, and Public Sector was home again.

He’s still looking for his first victory of 2022, but lands in a good place to change that, since Public Sector is 3-for-3 lifetime at Saratoga heading into Friday’s feature, the Grade III Forbidden Apple at a mile on the inner turf course.

Then again, Public Sector also lands in a difficult place, since the 10-horse Forbidden Apple field has some talent and depth to it.

“He’s the other one that loves Saratoga,” Brown said, referring to Public Sector’s stablemate Technical Analysis, who is entered in Saturday’s Grade I Diana.

“That was my thinking of pointing him to this race. It came up deep, a full field and obviously a very difficult, challenging race. He has trained very well, so we’ll see.”

Public Sector, who has raced exclusively on turf through 12 starts, won his career debut at Saratoga in 2020, then swept the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and Saranac last year.

This season, he was well back in sixth in the Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and was third to stablemate Masen in the Grade III Poker at Belmont Park on June 18.

“It was kind of a weird-run race,” Brown said. “He was a little on and off the bridle. He showed good interest late, which I really liked.

“I think this horse, I took him a little out of rhythm. He was getting ready to run in Kentucky, he drew a bad post in the Maker’s Mark and then he sort of lost his way a little bit in his training. I think I had him ready, but I took him out of rhythm a little bit. Then it’s taken me a little bit of time to get him back.”

Public Sector is 6-1 on the morning line for the Forbidden Apple.

Brown will also saddle long shot Analyze It.

Set Piece is the 3-1 favorite off a win in the Grade II Dinner Party at Pimlico on Preakness Day. He was second at Saratoga last year to the mare Got Stormy in the Grade I Fourstardave.

“I really think now he’s [Public Sector] ready to move forward again and I get him right back on track,” Brown said. “Win or lose, I feel confident he’s going to run well. It was a good step forward for him, that last race, after a debacle at Churchill on a turf course he hated.”

The card also includes the $150,000 Coronation Cup, a turf sprint stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The 2-1 favorite, Twilight Gleaming, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November.

STAKES PROBABLES

Next Saturday’s card features some blockbuster matchups in the female divisions.

The Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is expected to draw both Secret Oath and Nest.

Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath was fourth in the Preakness, and Kentucky Oaks runner-up Nest was second to Mo Donegal in the Belmont Stakes.

The Grade II Shuvee could be a replay of Belmont Day undercard highlight, as Clairiere, Malathaat, Search Results and Bonny South are expected to run.

They took the top four spots, respectively, in the Grade I Ogden Phipps.

JUST LIKE 2021

Jockey Luis Saez picked up right where he left off, winning the first race of the meet when Royal Tryst benefitted from a rainstorm that started shortly before the race.

Saez is coming off his first riding title at Saratoga, after the Ortiz brothers, Irad and Jose, had won the previous six.

“I’m grateful to be back here, and this place means a lot to us,” Saez said. “I’m happy, and the people here love the sport. They love racing and us, the jockeys. It’s exciting for everybody.”

Categories: At The Track, Sports

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