NY-bred Saratoga Flash opens National Thoroughbred League with victory

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Saratoga Flash, a son of Laoban bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, rolls to victory in inaugural National Thoroughbred League Handicap Sept. 3 at Kentucky Downs. Coady Photography.

Saratoga Flash, a stakes-placed New York-bred son of the late Laoban, kicked off the inaugural National Thoroughbred League with a victory over Labor Day weekend at Kentucky Downs.

Owned by Dailey Double Racing LLC and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Saratoga Flash powered to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $378,666 National Thoroughbred League Handicap Sept. 3 going 1 mile on the grass. Edgard Zayas rode the 5-year-old gelding, who just missed the 1-mile course record winning in 1:32.39.

Sent off as the 8-1 sixth choice in the field of eight, Saratoga Flash carved out fractions of :23.43, :46.31 and 1:09.29 before just missing Flavius’ course mark of 1:32.21 set when he won the 2020 Tourist Mile Stakes. Siege of Boston, the 7-5 favorite for trainer Jimmy Toner, finished second, with the Arnaud Delacour-trained Eons third.

Saratoga Flash races for the New Jersey Racing Club in the National Thoroughbred League, which was launched as an event-focused league for Thoroughbred racehorses modeled on other sports leagues. The organization’s “league office” purchased racehorses privately, conducted a draft among six team owners that are equity holders in the league and fund the purses for the series of races run over three weekends in late summer and fall at four tracks.

Kentucky Downs hosted the first race, with the Meadowlands (Oct. 14), Santa Anita Park (Nov. 10-11) and Tampa Bay Downs (Dec. 30-31) completing the hosting lineup.

The New Jersey Racing Club leads the standings with 95 points, 30 more than the Philadelphia Stallions. New York Knights are third with 52, followed by California Shamrocks (48), Seattle Gems (20) and Nashville Dreams (20).

Four National Thoroughbred League races are in the condition book for Oct. 14 at the Meadowlands, all with $50,000 purses at 1 mile on the grass. Two of the races are for fillies and mares.

Bred by and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Flash is the sixth foal out of the winning Sky Mesa mare Flash Act.

Flash Act is the dam of New York-bred stakes winner Nine Route, a son of The Factor who sold as a weanling for $190,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale and for $290,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She also the dam of winners Easy Banker (by Central Banker) and Cause (The Factor) and the 3-year-old New York-bred Mendelssohn filly Inflationary Trend that sold for $180,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

A $60,000 purchased by de Meric Sales at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale, Saratoga Flash started his career for Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg. He won three of his first 12 starts before he was claimed by Dailey Double Racing for $35,000 out of one of those victories, a 1 1/16-mile race on the inner turf Aug. 20, 2022 at Saratoga Race Course. He closed the 2022 season with another victory in a starter optional on Christmas Eve at Gulfstream Park.

Saratoga Flash made four starts in 2023 before his National Thoroughbred League victory, winning and finishing second in Gulfstream allowance-optional events and finishing second in the Mr. Steele Stakes in mid-May at Gulfstream. He prepped for his Kentucky Downs run with a seventh in a $120,313 allowance-optional on the turf July 20 at Saratoga.

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