Friday, August 31, 2012
PLETCHER LOOKS TO CONTINUE 2YO SUCCESS IN G1 SPINAWAY; HALL OF FAME WINNER QUICK WIT RETURNS IN G3
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Others have had their say, but trainer Todd Pletcher has largely held the last word on 2-year-old racing this summer at Saratoga Race Course.
Heading into Thursday’s race card, Pletcher had sent 2-year-olds into the starting gate 55 times and come away victorious 20 times for a .360 batting average.
Both Pletcher fillies head into the Spinaway off debut scores by open lengths at low odds.
Wertheimer and Frere’s Corail (pronounced Kor-EYE), by Indian Charlie, debuted August 1 in a 5 ½-furlong sprint and won by 3 ½ lengths in a time of 1:04.52. Stonestreet Stables’ Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy, ran five days later and won a 6 ½-furlong sprint by 10 ½ lengths in a time of 1:16.48.
“They’re both good-sized fillies I think will appreciate more distance down the road,” said Pletcher. “They are similar in that both were very professional in their debuts and have tactical speed and the ability to stretch it out, we believe. I think they’ll both be prominently placed early.”
Dreaming of Julia will run as part of a coupled entry with Teen Pauline, another Stonestreet filly in the hands of trainer Steve Asmussen. A homebred by Tapit, Teen Pauline set a Saratoga track record in her debut on July 25, running five furlongs in 56.53 seconds and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 92.
She will be ridden by Julien Leparoux from the rail, while Dreaming of Julia will leave from post position 6 under recent Hall of Fame inductee John Velazquez.
The Stonestreet entry was assigned 7-5 favoritism on the morning line. Corail, who drew post position 2 with Chris DeCarlo riding, was listed at 12-1.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott heads into the Spinaway with Live Oak Plantation’s Seasoned Warrior. The daughter of Majestic Warrior finished second to Baby J in June at Belmont Park, then broke her maiden by 3 ¾ lengths on August 12 at Saratoga at in a six-furlong race.
“We were trying to get a race in her [at Belmont] so we would have her experienced to possibly win up here, and she did so in good style,” said Mott. “So, we’re looking forward to running her. She’s nice to train, looks a lot like her daddy. Majestic Warrior marked her pretty well, and he broke his maiden up here and won the Hopeful. So, maybe she can break her maiden up here and win the Spinaway.”
Seasoned Warrior, the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line, will leave from the outside under Junior Alvarado.
So Many Ways got her second victory in as many starts in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on July 20 at the Spa. Trained by Tony Dutrow for Maggie Moss, the Sightseeing filly finished 4 ½ lengths in front of Baby J that day, who also comes back for the Spinaway.
With Javier Castellano in the irons, So Many Ways drew post position 3 as the 3-1 third choice. Baby J ( 8-1) will leave from post position 5 with Ramon Dominguez riding.
Sweet Shirley Mae, fifth in the Schuylerville and 15-1 on the morning line, completes the field.
In the 1 1/8-mile Saranac, Quick Wit returns to the grass after winning an off-the-turf running of the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame on August 10.
Trained by Dale Romans, the son of Sharp Humor won the Hall of Fame by a nose over Csaba following his close-up fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 American Derby on July 14 at Arlington Park.
Romans has a slew of good 3-year-olds that perform well on grass and Quick Wit was the one who found his way to the Saranac.
“It’s been complicated, which is why I had to run three in the [Grade 1] Secretariat [at Arlington],” said Romans, “but there is a lot of good racing for these 3-year-olds, so I’ve been able to split them up a little.”
Of Quick Wit, a winner of three of 10 starts and the 4-1 third choice in the Saranac, Romans said, “He’s been a dirt horse and he’s just turned a turf horse, and he can still run on the dirt. He’s just getting good now. It doesn’t matter. He can go either way.”
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will run Bluegrass Hall’s Skyring, who has competed just twice on the grass, winning the James W. Murphy by a neck on Preakness Day and finishing third by a neck in the American Derby behind Romans’ Cozzetti.
“That’s where he belongs and where his best races have been,” said Lukas of Skyring, 6-1 on the morning line. “This is one of the last 3-year-old grass races left.”
Completing the field are 2-1 favorite Lucky Chappy, second last out in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby; multiple stakes-winning New York-bred King Kreesa; Spring to the Sky, who was third behind Summer Front in the Duluth on July 22 at the Spa; multiple stakes-placed Canadian runner Excaper, and Set the Sail, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Unbridled Command and Starforce. Politicallycorrect was entered Main Track Only.
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