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Con Lima Ready for Saratoga Oaks Stretch

The Saratoga Oaks and Adirondack run on Sunday

There are some high-quality Thoroughbreds in action at Saratoga on Sunday in the $700,000 Saratoga Oaks and $200,000 Adirondack.

One of the headline runners is Con Lima, who comes off a placing in the Belmont Oaks and will be tough to beat against the likes of Creative Flair and Rocky Sky.

Thoroughbreds race at Saratoga Race Course
MARIO TAMA / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

In the Adirondack, Wicked Halo has attracted online betting support in what is one of the more even fields of the day.

Pletcher Filly is Ready To Go

Con Lima is the standout runner in the Saratoga Oaks and her form stacks up brilliantly for the feature race.

The 3-year-old daughter of Commissioner won back-to-back races in the Honey Ryder and Grade III Wonder Again before finishing a game second behind Santa Barbara in the Grade I Belmont Oaks last month.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is hoping his filly can stretch out to the 1 3/16-mile distance.

“It’s not obvious in her pedigree, but obviously she’s performed well over the grass. She appreciates the tighter turns at Saratoga like she did at Gulfstream. She’s doing well and we’re looking forward to trying it again,” Pletcher told The Paulick Report. “She just continues to step up. She’s been super consistent and gives a good effort every time.

“She seemed to really like Gulfstream, which is a tighter course, so maybe that will work in her favor here. If she continues to run her races the way she has been, she should be able to get one of [these].”

Horse racing betting markets will have Con Lima short in the market. However, the Chad Brown-trained duo of Higher Truth and Rocky Sky won’t be easy to beat.

Higher Truth finished a nose behind Con Lima in the Belmont Oaks, which should be the best form guide for the Saratoga Oaks.

“She got a great trip and was right there. I was proud of her effort,” Brown said. “She’s a horse that continues to improve, so we should be in good shape. Moving forward as far as her development, I really like what I see. She’s a distance horse, absolutely.”

Rocky Sky is an Irish runner that won the Salsabil Stakes in April. She is an enterprising type that could push Con Lima and her stablemate to the brink.

“We’ve had her for a little while now. She seems to be really adapting to the program. The last couple works were the best I’ve seen from her. She’s an exciting prospect,” Brown continued.

Asmussen Seeking Consecutive Adirondacks

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen scored in 2020 with Thoughtfully and he’s hoping to go back-to-back with Wicked Halo on Sunday.

The well-bred daughter of Gun Runner finished first on debut at Lone Star Park before running third in the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs.

She is the daughter of 2015 winner Just Wicked and Asmussen can’t split them.

“They’re basically twins,” he said. “Wicked Halo deserves the chance. I ran her back fairly quickly after the Debutante from the one hole. It could have been different for her.

“The Gun Runners have run extremely well, and obviously, that’s exciting to us. I do believe that every single one of them will continue to improve with distance and with time, just like he did. It means a little more to us when we send out one of his babies.”

Looking to get the better of Wicked Halo are the likes of Mainstay and Interstatedaydream, who should be well-favored on the online racebook.

The Adirondack is always a competitive race and the 2-year-old fillies could be lining up in the Saratoga Oaks next season.

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