Following a nine-month hiatus, Grade 1-placed Uncle Benny will return to action in Wednesday's $100,000 Mahony for 3-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs over the Mellon turf course at Saratoga Race Course.
Owned by Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, the bay son of Declaration of War won his first two career starts, breaking his maiden over the main track at Monmouth Park before winning the Futurity over a Widener turf course at Belmont Park labelled good.
He subsequently finished a narrow second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf to Line of Duty after he was lightly bumped in mid-stretch.
“We're starting him back sprinting on grass,” trainer Jason Servis said. “He's been training well.”
Uncle Benny is out of the Storm Cat broodmare Celebrity Cat, whose granddam Starrer was a multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire. Starrer's half-sister Stellar Jayne also won multiple Grade 1 races and banked over $1 million. Bred in Kentucky by Peter Magnier, Uncle Benny was purchased for $185,000 from the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale in August 2017.
Uncle Benny will be reunited with two-time Saratoga leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 1.
The Black Album will cut back in distance from one mile, fresh off a stakes victory in the Charlie Barley at Woodbine. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, the dark bay French-bred son of Wootton Bassett is owned by Gary Barber and Team Valor International. He was a Group 3-winner in France before making his United States debut in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, when eighth. The Black Album did not race again until April, where he was third in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland.
Two-time Saratoga leading rider Jose Ortiz will pilot The Black Album from post 5.
Linda Rice owned and trained New York-bred Elektronic proved more than capable against open stakes company last out with a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Quick Call, and will take another shot at such caliber, leaving from post 2 under Jose Lezcano.
The son of City Zip broke his maiden at second asking over a firm Widener Turf Course at Belmont Park and built on that effort with a victory against Empire State-bred winners over Belmont's inner turf two weeks later.
Completing the field are Dunph [post 3, Luis Saez], Neverland Rock [post 4, Joel Rosario], Mount Travers [post 6, Manny Franco], Archidust [post 7, Javier Castellano] Fully Loaded [post 9, Tyler Gaffalione] and Pyron [post 10, Ricardo Santana, Jr.] Releasethethunder [post 8, TBA] is listed as main-track only.
The Mahony is slated as Race 6 on Wednesday's 10-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m.
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