by Ryan Martin
Leading trainer Christophe Clement will attempt to keep his dominant ways at the Spa intact when Oak Bluff Stables' Fresco takes on the boys in Thursday's $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Cab Calloway division for sophomores going 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.
The dark bay daughter of leading New York stallion Freud broke her maiden against stakes competition last out as the heavy favorite in the NYSSS Statue of Liberty over the Spa's inner turf on July 23, which was only her fourth lifetime start. Prior to her winning effort, she raced twice against open company on the Gulfstream Park turf before finishing a narrow second going seven furlongs over the Widener turf course at Belmont Park.
"It's a pretty aggressive move running back off of short rest, but why not?" Clement said. "It's a New York-sired race and there aren't as many of them on the grass. It's a bit of an aggressive move but I think it is going to be well worth it."
A full sister to multiple stakes winner Therapist, who won the 2018 Cab Calloway for Clement, Fresco is out of the Smart Strike mare Lady Renaissance.
"She's not as good as Therapist yet, but I hope she will be one day," Clement said.
Clement, who leads all Spa trainers with 14 wins, will attempt a seventh stakes victory this meet when saddling Fresco from post 1 under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., who is tied for leading rider with his brother, Jose Ortiz, with 22 wins heading into Sunday's card.
Repole Stable's consistent Dream Bigger, who boasts an 8-3-3-2 record, will see a stretch out in distance and will race over turf for the first time for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who won the Cab Calloway with Sportswriter  and Uno Emayo .
Made the post time favorite in all eight of his career starts, Dream Bigger arrives at the Cab Calloway off a third-place finish to Captain Bombastic in the Mike Lee on June 14 at Belmont Park.
Like Fresco, Dream Bigger also broke his maiden against stakes company when taking the New York Breeders' Futurity on September 30 at Finger Lakes. He then followed up with a triumph in the Notebook on November 17 at Aqueduct before winning the Damon Runyon at the Big A two starts later.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will retain the mount aboard Dream Bigger from post 5.
Skychai Racing's Jolting Joe will look to graduate in stakes company for trainer Mike Maker, who saddled the colt's half-brother Somelikeithotbrown to victory in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch on July 26 at the Spa.
By Mission Impazible and out of the Tapit mare Marilyn Monroan, Jolting Joe was bred in the Empire State by Hot Pink Stables and has finished second in all four career starts.
Jolting Joe, who will exit post 6 under Tyler Gaffalione, finished second in the Armed Forces in September at Gulfstream Park and completed the exacta behind Kentucky Derby hopeful King Guillermo in a turf maiden mile in November at Gulfstream Park West.
Maker will also saddle Turbo Drive for Three Diamonds Farm, who lead all owners at the Spa summer meet with five wins. Maker and Three Diamonds Farm combined to win Saturday's Grade 2 Bowling Green with New York-bred Cross Border.
A bay son of Teuflesberg bred in New York by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Turbo Drive boasts a record of 12-2-2-3 with purse earnings of $146,190. The most experience runner in the field, Turbo Drive enters off a rallying score in a restricted turf allowance on July 25 at Saratoga. Luis Saez picks up the mount and will guide Turbo Drive from post 4.
Rounding out the field are filly Stuy Town Baby [post 2, Dylan Davis] and Zipalong [post 3, Manny Franco].
The NYSSS Cab Calloway is slated as Race 8 on Thursday's 9-race card, which offers a first post of 1:10 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
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