Robin Sparkles Looks to Add Smart N Fancy Win to Resume

Michael Schrader’s New York-bred Robin Sparkles  will look to add to her Saratoga Race Course success when facing eight others in the Aug. 20 $150,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward over the Mellon turf course.

Robin Sparkles was last seen holding off a late charge from several rivals to post a 21-1 upset in the Caress Stakes (G3T) July 23 at the Spa. Flaunting her usual frontrunning fashion, Robin Sparkles held off a late rally from Souper Sensational  to win by a head.

Conditioned by Bruce Brown, the Elusive Quality  mare was third in last year’s running of this race and has never finished off the board in five career races at the Spa. She is the only horse in the field to finish in the money three straight years at Saratoga. 

“Five-and-a-half (furlongs) up here is definitely her thing,” Brown said. “A few of those races last year, the turf was maybe not as firm as she likes it and she still ran her race.”

Robin Sparkles used her speed to her advantage in the Caress, going out to an uncontested lead. Brown said similar tactics will be in play on Saturday.

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“She’s going to do what she does,” said Brown. “You’re not going to duck anybody up here. This is where everybody points for.”

Robin Sparkles will look to improve on an already impressive record of 9-2-3 from 16 starts and add to the more than $530,000 already in the bank. Bred in the Empire State by Hibiscus Stables, Robin Sparkles defeated state-breds in stakes company going one mile in last year’s off-the-turf Mount Vernon Stakes at Belmont Park.

“Her in-the-money percentage is just incredible,” Brown said. “She’s going to run and we’ll see what the other ones do.”

Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables’ grade 1-placed Caravel , will look to return to her winning ways after a troubled trip in the Caress. Off a step slow, the Brad Cox trainee was forced to steady along the rail around the turn before slowly dropping out of contention and finishing last-of-nine. 

This year alone saw Caravel capture the Intercontinental Stakes (G3T) June 10 at Belmont Park two starts after capturing the March 19 Queen Stakes over synthetic at Turfway Park

Caravel has banked $565,277 for her connections through a record of 9-0-3 from 16 starts, which includes stakes victories over six different racetracks. 

Hat Creek Racing’s Irish-bred Illegal Smile , last seen finishing an even fifth in the Intercontinental, returns to the Spa for her third start of this year’s campaign. 

Trained by Wesley Ward, Illegal Smile opened 2022 with an allowance victory at Keeneland before finishing a close fifth in the Intercontinental. 

Ward said Illegal Smile’s best races have come on good turf.

“She seems to be better if there’s a little rain,” Ward said. “She always steps it up a bit if there’s a little give in the ground. We’re hoping for a little bit of cut in the ground.”

Other contenders include Change of Control , Fouette , Sarah Harper , Too Sexy , Miss J McKay , and Lady Edith . Spicy Marg  is entered for the main track only. 

Entries: Smart N Fancy S.

Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 20, 2022, Race 9

  • STK
  • 5 1/2f
  • Turf
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:02 PM (local)

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.