All that overnight handicapping of the Thursday feature at Saratoga went out the window with two big scratches. The morning-line favorite Weekend Hideaway developed soreness in his left front foot, so trainer Phil Serpe canceled his run in the $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes. The probable front-runner early in the race – Bustin It – was also scratched. But for a change this summer at the Spa, there is no lack of early pace in this 6½-furlong race for New York breds. Gypsum Johnny (5-1), Breakin The Fever (12-1) and Brimstone (20-1) may find themselves in a who-gets-there-first dash from the gate. José Ortiz – last year’s top jockey at Saratoga – has the ride on Gypsum Johnny for the second time in a row. They won three weeks ago as the favorite in an $80,000 mile claimer at Belmont Park. The cutback in distance should not be a problem, but a burning speed contest might be. So even though Gypsum Johnny is the play, a hedge on long-shot closer T Loves A Fight (12-1) is worth a look, especially if rain makes the track muddy or sloppy.
Play of the Day: Gypsum Johnny to win, but keep an eye on T Loves A Fight.
Thursday's Saratoga stakes race in handicap order from e-ponies.com
Note: Weekend Hideaway and Bustin It have scratched.