Friday, August 10, 2012
RISING STARS ASSEMBLE FOR ADIRONDACK, SARATOGA SPECIAL
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A year ago at Saratoga Race Course, fans caught a glimpse of the future when eventual 2-Year-Old Filly champion My Miss Aurelia captured the Grade 2 Adirondack and 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags powered to a 7 ¼-length victory in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.
On Sunday, six juvenile fillies and seven juvenile colts will try to take the next steps in their young careers and perhaps go on to greater glory in the 96th running of the $200,000 Adirondack and the 107th edition of the $200,000 Saratoga Special.
The 2-5 morning-line favorite in the Adirondack is Kauai Katie, who, like My Miss Aurelia, carries the colors of Stonestreet Stables. A daughter of Malibu Moon, Kauai Katie was even more impressive in her debut than her predecessor, pulling away to a dazzling 12-length victory on July 20 that earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100, tops among all 2-year-olds this year, male or female
“She trained exceptionally well here all summer,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Kauai Katie, purchased for $490,000 in March at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-olds in training sale in Florida. “We were excited to have her ready to run, were looking forward to it, and she exceeded our expectations.”
While Kauai Katie’s maiden victory came in front-running fashion at 5 ½ furlongs, Pletcher said her professionalism and ability to rate in the mornings should be positive factors as she stretches out in distance.
“Horses don’t always come out of the 2-year-old in training sales with that type of mentality,” he said. “We’ll continue to see how she handles added distances. She’s very strong at the end of 5 ½ [furlongs] and we’re optimistic that with her mind set, she’ll be able to carry it further.”
Rosie Napravnik will again ride Kauai Katie, who drew post position 3.
Second choice at 5-1 on the morning line is Cayllano, who ships in from Kentucky with a pair of victories including the White Clay Creek overnight stakes at Delaware Park. Trained by Tom Amoss for GoldMark Farm, the Bluegrass Cat filly launched her career with a nine-length score on June 11 at Indiana Downs.
With Javier Castellano aboard, Cayllano will leave from post position 4.
Rounding out the field are Fully Living, a supplemental entry, and Sweet Shirley Mae, fourth and fifth behind So Many Ways in the Grade 2 Schuylerville on opening day; Vitameta, seven-length maiden winner on July 1 at Calder Race Course, and Salamera, a neck winner of the J J’s Dream on June 30 at Calder.
Pletcher, who has won two editions of the Adirondack, will be trying for his first win in the Saratoga Special as he doubles up with Starlight Racing’s Shanghai Bobby and Michael Tabor’s Drum Roll.
Shanghai Bobby, a son of Harlan’s Holiday, broke his maiden on April 19 going 4 ½ furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack and two months later at Belmont Park added the 5 ½-furlong Track Barron overnight stakes to his resume.
“Shanghai Bobby got started very early,” said Pletcher. “We found over the years that a lot of times, our most successful horses are the first ones ready. I suppose it just speaks to their natural ability and talent level, their professionalism, and those kinds of things that ultimately make a lot of them good.”
Rosie Napravnik will be aboard Shanghai Bobby, who drew post position 6 as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Drum Roll, a maiden winner on July 8 at Monmouth Park, is 5-1 on the morning line, and will leave from post position 7 under John Velazquez.
The 5-2 second choice on the morning line is Spurious Precision, a good-looking winner first time out at the Spa on July 21. With Alan Garcia aboard, the High Cotton colt sat just off the pace and pulled clear through the stretch to win by 3 ½ lengths, earning a 91 Beyer in the process.
“It’s a little bit quick back, not ideal, but he’s doing very well,” said trainer Rick Violette of Spurious Precision, who carries the colors of Klaravich Stables. “Some of the horses in the race have beaten nice horses, and others, we don’t know what we’ve beaten. We have an opportunity to run here, and if the stars align, look ahead to a race like the [Grade 1 Foxwoods] Champagne [October 6, Belmont Park]. Plans are great, but you’ve got to get to Square One, and Square One is Sunday.”
Garcia will be back aboard Spurious Precision, who drew post position 3.
Rounding out the field, from the rail out, are recent maiden winners In Harm’s Way, He’s So Fine, Southern Honor, and Dan the Tin Man.
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