Saratoga: How to bet the Coronation Cup

Profile Picture: Keeler Johnson

July 29th, 2020

There are plenty of speedy fillies entered in Friday’s Coronation Cup S. at Saratoga, a 5 1/2-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds.

Wesley Ward, a master at training young turf sprinters, has entered #2 Karak (6-1) and #8 Artie’s Princess (3-1). The former is a two-time stakes winner. The latter has gone 3-for-4 over the Tapeta track at Woodbine.

Both Karak and Artie’s Princess have an abundance of tactical speed, but they are not the only Coronation Cup contenders blessed with that asset.

#1 Always In the Munny (12-1) wired the 6-furlong Bara Lass S. at Lone Star Park. #5 Shippy (12-1) was a frontrunning winner of Monmouth Park’s Blue Sparkler S., and #6 Bredenbury (9-2) employed pace-tracking tactics to claim Belmont Park’s Lady Shipman S.

All this speed figures to play in favor of #3 Fly So Pretty (8-1), one of the most accomplished fillies in the Coronation Cup field. Trained by Mark Casse, the daughter of Sky Mesa broke her maiden sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the Saratoga turf last summer, when she overcame a rough trip to rally and win by a neck. In third was Sharing, the future winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

Fly So Pretty failed to stretch out over a mile in the Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs, but she ended her 2-year-old season on a winning note, when she unleashed a powerful rally to win the 6-furlong Stewart Manor S. at Aqueduct, with Karak 2 3/4 lengths back in third place.

So why is Fly So Pretty 8-1 on the morning line? Perhaps it’s because she finished seventh in a May 16 allowance race at Churchill Downs, her only run so far this season. But the 5 1/2-furlong dash was contested on dirt, after it was rained off the turf, and it seems reasonable to conclude Fly So Pretty didn’t care for the surface switch. As a daughter of Sky Mesa, out of a City Zip mare, Fly So Pretty is bred to relish turf and synthetic surfaces, not the dirt.

Fly So Pretty has trained strongly in the interim and will pick up Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez for her second start of the year. With a fast pace to enhance her late rally, Fly So Pretty should produce her "A" game on Friday and vie for victory in this competitive sprint.

Let’s bet Fly So Pretty to win and key her on top of an exacta, with Artie’s Princess and the stretch-running Lady Shipman S. runner-up #9 She’s My Type (3-1) underneath.

$20 to win on #3 Fly So Pretty
$5 exacta: 3 with 8,9 ($10)
Total: $30

Good luck!