Mondego (GB) draws post 1 for $600,000 Saratoga Derby Inv. (G1)

Cheyenne Stables Mondego (GB) takes on the biggest challenge of his young career in Saturday’s $600,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) at 1 3/16-miles on the turf.

The 3-year-old son of Lope de Vega (IRE) ran a bang-up race last time out in the July 8 Belmont Derby (G1), where he was third, beaten just a length for the win and a nose out of second place following some trouble in the stretch of that 1 ¼-mile race.

His Belmont race is even more impressive when you consider it was his first start against stakes company.

Mondego will face the Belmont Derby winner Far Bridge, along with an intriguing trio of European shippers, including the filly Aspen Grove, who won the Belmont Oaks Inv. (G1) on the same day as the Belmont Derby.

With his inside post in the field of nine, Mondego will likely use his speed to get to the lead. That has served him well, with the Christophe Clement trainee racking up $208,807 in earnings in just five starts.

Mondego will be ridden Saturday by regular rider Joel Rosario. Post time for the ninth race on Saturday is 5:01 pm ET.