The feature race on Sunday of the Saratoga opening weekend is the $200,000 Sanford Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. Just 18,425 were on hand on a warm sunny afternoon with temperatures in the high 80's. Bern Identity was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 8, exiting a maiden win at Belmont in his second start. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Rose Junction, a debut winner by 3 lengths at Belmont last out, and 9-2 third choice Handsome Jack, off a second place finish in the Track Barron Stakes at Belmont.
Handsome Jack and 7-1 Brave Dave battled for the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 21.60 and 44.70 over the fast track, while as many as 2 1/2 lengths in front of Rose Junction and Bern Identity stalking them third and fourth. Entering the stretch, Handsome Jack continued to lead midstretch through 5/8 in 57.50 as Brave Dave tired, but Bern Identity closed late to take over the lead at the 1/16 pole and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:11.13. It was just 3/4 length back to late-running 12-1 Onetwentyeight third.
Results chart from DRF