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2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Preview, Entries & Odds – The G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap comes our way this Saturday, July 29 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. A purse of $350,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to dash six furlongs on Saratoga’s dirt track.

A field of eight have been confirmed for the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap – race 8 on Saratoga’s busy Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:02 PM. Let’s take a brief glance into the past performances of all eight combatants for this competitive G1 stakes.

Horse Racing Rebates

2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Entries at Saratoga Race Course

A. P. Indian 5-2

Defending champion in this race was on a terrific six-race win streak at this time last year for trainer Arnaud Delacour including the G2 Ogden Phipps Stakes October 7 at Keeneland, the G1 Forego Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Saratoga August 27, the 2016 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes by 1 1/4 length July 30, the G3 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes July 9, the minor Donald LeVine Memorial (for the second year in a row) at Parx and the minor Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park last May. He is winless in his last three starts but has still been competitive as ever – consecutive seconds ahead of this weekend including the G3 Maryland Sprint Stakes last time out at Pimlico May 20 and the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 8 followed a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. A. P. Indian now has 11 wins, six seconds and a third-place finish in 20 career starts and looks to start a new impressive streak Saturday. Joe Bravo has been tabbed to ride the morning line favorite from gate 4.

Limousine Liberal 3-1

Has six wins, five seconds and a third-place finish in 16 career starts for trainer Ben Colebrook. He arrives on a nice three-race win streak – the minor Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes last time out June 30, the G3 Aristides Stakes June 3 and the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 6 – all at Churchill Downs. Before that was a third in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 8, a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and a second in the G2 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Keeneland in October. Limousine Liberal has placed in five of his last six starts ahead of this weekend and enters in career-best form. Jose Ortiz has been trusted with keeping the impressive roll going on the second betting choice from the outside gate 8.

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El Real 7-2

Jorge Navarro trainee has eight wins, two seconds and a third-place finish in 15 career starts. He enters on a nice two-race win streak – the minor $60,000 Decathlon Stakes last time out at Monmouth Park June 11 and a 7 3/4-length score in a 4 1/2-furlong Handicap race at Charles Towns April 22. Before that was a ninth in the listed Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint January 28, a fourth in the G3 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream January 1 and a third in the minor Gin Rummy Champ Stakes in November. El Real has been decent in his career and enters in career-best form – having posted two straight triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. He leaves from post 3 Saturday with Javier Castellano in the reins trying to keep the run going.

Bird Song 6-1

Ian Wilkes trained colt has placed in eight of 12 career starts – five wins, two seconds and a third-place finish. He has three wins, two seconds and a third in his last seven starts overall. Last time was his worst result in a while – an eighth in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 17 which followed a good 1 1/2 length front-running win in the G2 Alysheba Stakes on that track May 5, a third in the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 15, another good win in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 and a second to start his year in the G2 Hal’s Hope Stakes in January. Bird Song had been a serious factor in every race of 2017 before last time out, he posted a :47.33 bullet work last weekend and will be in search of a strong bounce back off an uncharacteristic effort. Julien Leparoux will be in the irons from post 5.

Awesome Banner 6-1

Kenneth Decker trained colt has placed in 12 of 17 career starts – six wins (five stakes), four seconds and two third place finishes. He won his first three career starts including the G3 Hutcheson Stakes in January, 2016 and the G2 Swale Stakes in February of last year and struggled in his next two graded stakes starts. He picked up his game after that – three wins and three seconds in six starts since including a second in the minor Steel Valley Sprint Stakes at Mahoning Valley November 21, wins in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes and the minor Prized Stakes (both at Gulfstream) and consecutive seconds including the G3 Carry Back Stakes at Gulfstream in July. He enters off an OK second in the G3 Smile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream July 1 which followed a third in the G3 Maryland Sprint at Pimlico May 20, an uncharacteristic ninth in the G1 Carter Handicap April 8 and a fourth in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap February 11. Awesome Banner searches for his first graded stakes score in 18+ months and arrives in so-so form. Jose Lezcano gets the call from gate 2.

Ready for Rye 12-1

2015 winner of the G2 Swale Stakes has placed in 16 of 19 career starts for trainer Thomas Albertrani – six wins, four seconds and six third-place finishes. He won two minor stakes races in the summer of 2015 and has been decent since. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park June 18 which followed a third in the G3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct November 24, a fifth in the minor Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational in October, a tenth in the G1 Forego Stakes in August and consecutive thirds – the G3 Belmont Sprint Championship last July and the G3 Jaipur Invitational in June of last year. Ready for Rye has been competitive virtually every time out but will be in search of his first stakes score in nearly two years. Luis Saez has the mount from gate 6.

Green Gratto 20-1

Gaston Grant trainee won the 2015 G3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct but has been up and down since. He arrives off consecutive fifths – the G2 Belmont Sprint Championship last time out July 8 and the G2 True North Stakes on that track June 9 after a fourth in the competitive listed Diablo Stakes May 7 and a terrific win at 54-1 in the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 8. Before that was a seventh in the G3 Tom Fool Handicap at Aqueduct March 11, a front-running win with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the G3 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct January 16, an OK second behind Stallwalkin’ Dude in the minor Gravesend Stakes on this track and three straight off-the-board finishes in graded stakes action. He has placed in just six of 18 graded stakes tries, has nine wins, nine seconds and eight third place finishes in 56 career starts and has failed to place in his last three ahead of this weekend. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will try to change all of that from post 7 Saturday.

Spartiatis 20-1

Has five wins, three seconds and five third place finishes in 33 career starts for trainer Leon Blusiewicz. He arrives off consecutive sixth place finishes – the listed Diablo Stakes last time out at Belmont Park May 7 and the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 8. Before that was a career-best effort – a two length win in the G3 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park March 11, an Allowance Optional Claiming score there January 21, a fourth in a similar race on that track December 16 and a seventh in the G3 Fall Highweight Handicap November 24. He was pretty inconsistent before that as well. Spartiatis looks to regain his early season form when he won consecutive races when he leaves from the rail with Rajiv Maragh aboard.

2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Odds & Entries

Race 8 on Saratoga’s Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:02 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Spartiatis 20-1 Rajiv Maragh Leon Blusiewicz
2 Awesome Banner 6-1 Jose Lezcano Kenneth Decker
3 El Deal 7-2 Javier Castellano Jorge Navarro
4 A. P. Indian 5-2 Joe Bravo Arnaud Delacour
5 Bird Song 6-1 Julien Leparoux Ian Wilkes
6 Ready for Rye 12-1 Luis Saez Thomas Albertrani
7 Green Gratto 20-1 Kendrick Carmouche Gaston Grant
8 Limousine Liberal 3-1 Jose Ortiz Ben Colebrook

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