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Ways and Means Lives Up to the Hype in Saratoga Debut

This column highlights the performances of maidens who have made no more than five starts and who either sold for more than $500,000 at public auction, have siblings that are graded/group winners, or have dams that are graded/group winners. BloodHorse research shows maiden winners who meet these criteria are more likely to go on to be graded stakes winners.

Saratoga Race Course

A stakes winner in Canada, Klaravich Stable’s mare Strong Incentive  has more than made up for her sparse race record in the breeding shed. The 11-year-old daughter of Warrior’s Reward   has produced two graded winners in Highly Motivated   and recent Lake George Stakes (G3T) captress Surge Capacity  and now has a potential star in the making with Saratoga Race Course debut winner Ways and Means .

“The whole family can run apparently,” said Klaravich’s Seth Klarman. “It’s definitely more rewarding when you win with a homebred. (Strong Incentive) had some minor problems and we decided to try her as a broodmare and it’s really worked out.”

Ways and Means went to post as no secret to the gambling public. The bright bay daughter of Practical Joke  , another Klaravich-owned runner, had posted a series of impressive works in the morning at the Spa, including a 1:00.10 five-furlong move out the gate July 23. Instead of taking on winners in the Aug. 6 $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (G3), trainer Chad Brown opted for a six-furlong maiden special weight earlier on the card for the filly’s anticipated debut.

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“(Ways and Means) was training absolutely outstanding and we were excited to get her started,” Brown said. “It’s a relief when they run to their works because it doesn’t always happen. She’s pretty good.”

Guided by Flavien Prat on Sunday, Ways and Means bumped with Shore War  to her inside out of the gate but recovered quickly, settling into a stalking third behind the leaders. Angled into the four-path turning for home, the filly simply exploded past her rivals at the quarter pole and drew off convincingly down the lane.

Ways and Means hit the wire 12 3/4 lengths in front under a motionless Prat. The pair clocked 1:10.51 over a fast main track.

Although it could be argued third crop sire Practical Joke (Into Mischief  ) was more of a sprinter/miler type on the track, his best scion to date, Practical Move , captured the Santa Anita Derby (G1) this year over 1 1/8 miles after taking the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) as a juvenile. Ways and Means’ two graded stakes-winning siblings, Highly Motivated and Surge Capacity, also excelled over two-turn distances. Highly Motivated, a more closely related sibling to Ways and Means being by Into Mischief, is best known for his heartbreaking loss to Essential Quality   in the 2021 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. He later annexed the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) as a 4-year-old before being retired to Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky.

BloodHorse Maiden Watch
Notable  2YO maiden winners for week of July 31-Aug. 6
Date Track Race Horse Sire Dam Start Maiden Watch eligibility criteria
7/31 EIP 5 Blue Eyed George Flameaway Acting Naughty  1 Dam is a G3SW; Half Sibling to G2SW Offlee Naughty
7/31 PM 7 Won Happy Mama Runhappy Vicarious Won 1 Half Sibling to G3SW Anarchist
8/1 EIP 5 Song of Norway Flatter Cougarstown 1 Half Sibling to G2SW Treason
8/2 DEL 1 Top Blue Ghostzapper Gospel Girl 1 Full Sibling to G3SW Happy Farm
8/3 IND 8 Sambalover Distorted Humor  Generosidade 2 Dam is a G1SW 
8/3 SAR 6 Gala Brand Violence Olorda 1 Dam is a G3SW 
8/5 MTH 3 Madame Mischief Into Mischief Madame Orbe 2 $550K 2YO
8/5 SAR 2 Just Steel Justify Irish Lights 3 Dam is a G1SW; Half Sibling to G2SW Omei Sword; $500K Yearling
8/6 EIP 4 Gettysburg Address Constitution Jojo Warrior 1 Dam is a G2SW
8/6 SAR 2 Ways and Means Practical Joke Strong Incentive 1 Half sibling to G3SW Highly Motivated

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