JC / Railbird

Opening Day

Suffolk Downs opens for 2013 on Saturday with a nine-race card that drew the usual assortment of horses who spent the winter racing in Florida or Maryland, and those who are making their first starts since Suffolk closed for the season in October. A small band of New York shippers also appear in the entries — trainer David Jacobson sends two, Christophe Clement one.

Jacobson’s first starter is Broadway Hat in race two, a five-furlong maiden claimer. A $220,000 purchase by Todd Pletcher at the March 2012 OBS sale, the Ready’s Image colt is making his $5,000 tag debut after going winless in seven starts — he finished second first time out last May, and second again in his third start on January 21, which is when Jacobson claimed him for $25,000. He ran back six days later and finished seventh. He comes into Saturday’s race off three starts, the last a maiden $16,000 at Belmont on Sunday in which he finished fifth (one of the few races Jacobson hasn’t won recently), and he’s 8-5 on the morning line. I’m going to bet that Broadway Hat finishes second again, maybe to Let’s Be Glad, who’s only winless in five races and has been running steadily at Gulfstream and Pimlico since his first start in January.

Temecula Creek, coming off two wins since May 18 at Belmont, is entered for Jacobson in race eight, a $20,000 OC/N2X going six furlongs that also includes the 2011 New England juvenile male champion Mighty One. He’s coupled with stablemate Gold Bear; both look overmatched.

Race six is the meet’s first turf race, and it’s a two-turn maiden special weight. Elusive Son makes his first career start for Clement off a string of solid works. He’s an $80,000 Keeneland September purchase, a colt by Elusive Quality out of the graded-stakes winner Go Go. She’s had four prior winning foals, the most impressive being the stakes-placed Miss Mittagong. As impeccable as Elusive Son’s credentials are for a Suffolk grass start, though, Caristo looks like an interesting longshot prospect in the same race — the John Botty trainee is making his third start, his first on the turf, a promising switch for a son of Langfuhr out of a dam who won and was stakes-placed on the Belmont turf.