Saturday, August 04, 2012
SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, August 3, 2012
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With his eye on the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King’s Bishop on August 25, three-time graded stakes winner Trinniberg had his first breeze at Saratoga Race Course on Friday, traveling four furlongs on the Oklahoma training track in 49.41 seconds with jockey Willie Martinez aboard.
“His regular rider was aboard him, and we told him we didn’t want anything faster than 49,” said owner Shivananda Parbhoo. “He went in 49.41, which is perfect. [Martinez] didn’t move a muscle. He came back happy and went straight to his feed.”
“They’ll have to try to catch him [in the Foxwood’s King’s Bishop],” said Parbhoo, whose father, Bisnath Parboo, trains the Teuflesberg colt.
The Foxwoods King’s Bishop will be Trinniberg’s second race at Saratoga, having finished second by three-quarters of a length to Currency Swap at 68-1 in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful last September. Trinniberg turned the tables on Currency Swap two starts back in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by VisitNassauCounty.com, with Currency Swap coming back to win the Grade 2 Amsterdam on Saturday.
Six of the 10 starters in last year’s Three Chimneys Hopeful have gone on to win at least one stakes, topped by sixth-place finisher I’ll Have Another, who captured this year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness.
“[Trinnberg] ran a big race in the Hopeful, and half of the field has come back to do big things,” said Parbhoo.
The Foxwoods King’s Bishop for 3-year-olds will be contested over the Three Chimneys Hopeful’s seven-furlong distance.
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Last year’s winner of the De La Rose, Trix in the City, will make her third start off a layoff on Saturday when she tries to repeat her 2011 performance in the race, stretching back out to a mile after two sprint races in which she finished second and third. The 6-year-old daughter of Friends Lake will race without blinkers for the first time in several years.
“She can be a nightmare in the paddock,” said Violette, “which she was in her last start. She should have run better than that.”
The lack of blinkers, he said, means that Trix in the City will likely not be on the lead; she set the pace in her two most recent victories.
Trix in the City, owned by Patsy C. Symons, was off from October of last year until February; another three-month break followed a race at Gulfstream in which the mare was eased.
“There was nothing serious wrong with her, just nuisance stuff you couldn’t go forward with,” Violette said.
“It’d be nice to win this race again and she’s doing good, but it’s certainly not a lay-up.”
Carried Interest, trained by Violette for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, made an impressive debut last month at Belmont, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in a five-furlong race that he won by a half-length and will make his next start in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 12, the trainer said.
“He’s doing great,” said Violette of the Henny Hughes colt. “He ran very fast, it looks like he beat some very nice horses in the race, and all systems are go.”
Though Carried Interest led for most of that race, Violette thinks he can vary his racing style.
“The added distance [of the 6 ½-furlong Saratoga Special] is significant, but he doesn’t have to be a rocket,” said Violette. “I think he could certainly stalk or lay off the pace, but he’s obviously fast enough to take over if they let us do that.”
As well as Carried Interest raced last month, Violette thinks he’ll be even better next time.
“I do think there’s room for improvement,” he said. “He’s shown quite a bit of talent, he’s gotten dirt in his face, he’s done everything well. He’s got a great brain.”
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Chad Brown’s 4-year-old filly Dealbata will make her second U.S. start in the De La Rose on Saturday. After making her first five starts in France (3-1-0), she won her first stateside race at Belmont in June in the Mohegan Sky Stakes. While confident of his filly’s chances, Brown’s not thrilled with the post position she drew. Dealbata will break from post 10 in a 10-horse field.
“She’s doing really well, and I’m expecting her to do well,” he said, “but I am concerned about the post.
“I’m going to leave it up to [jockey] Ramon [Dominguez] off the break,” he said. “She has just enough speed to maybe get herself in trouble. She’s not really a come-from-behinder, and I don’t think she’s an on-the-lead horse. She’s probably a mid-pack horse, and if she leaves too well, she could get hung out there.” Though he said that he’ll let Dominguez play it ear, he’d like to see Dealbata tucked in by the first turn.
Brown was pleased by his filly’s first performance in the United States but not surprised.
“Sometimes it takes horses a few months to get adjusted to being here, sometimes it takes longer,” he said. “I don’t run them until I know that they’re ready, so it doesn’t surprise me when they fire, and she fired in her first race.”
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Trainer Jimmy Toner, who won last weekend’s Grade 1 Diana with fan favorite Winter Memories, joked when asked about that filly’s 5-year-old half-sister La Cloche: “It’s nice that someone comes by to talk about somebody other than Winter Memories.”
“La Cloche has come back very good for us this year,” he added. “She ran great the first time this year [an allowance/optional claiming race in May at Belmont, in which she finished second], and she won last time out [in the Voodoo Dancer Stakes on July 8 at Belmont]. She’s improved quite a bit from last year, and she’s shown that so far in her races. I’m really very happy with her.”
Before her May race, La Cloche had been off since last August.
“She comes up with splints or something or another and you’re forced to give her some time,” said Toner. “She’s not fragile, it’s nothing major; every time I get her ready, there’s another little blip along the road.”
While happy with his mare’s progress, Toner respects the competition.
“This looks like a graded stakes race,” he said, “and we’re giving weight. She won, so you have to expect it, but still, giving five pounds to all those fillies might be too much.
“But,” he added, “she’s right on.”
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Apparently when trainer Lisa Lewis brings turf horses to Saratoga from her base at Woodbine, she means business.
She scored last year at the Spa with two first-time starters at big prices on the grass and struck twice again this week.
A private trainer for owner-breeder William Schettine, Lewis sent out Rosa Salvaje on Monday to win the inaugural $100,000 Shakespeare Caress. The 4-year-old Chapel Royal homebred filly ran 5 ½-furlongs in 1:03.50 and paid $41.40.
On Thursday, Lewis was back in the winner’s circle with a first-time starter named Archer Hill by Big Brown – and the 2-year-old looked like Big Brown – who went off as the favorite in a maiden special weight grass race and won by 1 ½ lengths in a field of 10.
Both horses were ridden by jockey Alex Solis, who lands on most of Lewis’ turf winners.
“We’re stabled at Woodbine and brought six down – mostly New York-breds I thought needed to be here,” Lewis said Friday morning outside her Saratoga barn. “Archer Hill we bought in the yearling sale, and he trained really well.
Still, Lewis marveled Archer Hill went off as the favorite.
“Up there [at Woodbine, in Toronto], no one knows who I am. He had a good work – don’t get me wrong – but how does he have any talk about him?” she said.
From 2006 to 2010, Lewis tried her luck on the West Coast, and, despite loving Santa Anita, couldn’t get any traction with owners. Back in New York at the time, her memory was kept alive by the Carl Domino-trained turf horse Missinglisalewis.
Now, she has 16 horses at Woodbine and six at Saratoga. Schettine is providing her with good runners. He stands Chapel Royal, sire of Rose Salvaje, at Signature Stallions, his farm in Ocala, Fla. The stakes the filly won Monday was partly named after the stallion Shakespeare – partly owned by Schettine – who stands at Lane’s End. Archer Hill prepared for his racing career at the farm in Ocala.
“I trained for [Schettine] before, and I didn’t do that good for him,” Lewis said, “but he liked that I was honest, and he was patient because he breeds and has broodmares.”
That patience matches well with Lewis’ approach to training. She likes to run off of layoffs, with well-rested horses.
“I wish I could run only when I think I’m live,” Lewis said, laughing. “We don’t have that many horses. For us to run a 2-year-old this time of year, though, is unusual, so they are live because we only run them if they’re training forwardly. We’re picking our spots.”
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Although In Harm’s Way is a New York-bred, trainer Michael Hushion has no reservations when it comes to running the 2-year-old colt against open company in the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special on August 12 instead of awaiting stakes restricted to state-breds.
“That’s why we’re in this game, to have a good horse and to try to have big horses,” said Hushion. “Becky Thomas [of Sequel Stallions] had this horse in Ocala, and she told me this horse can do good things.”
Bettors also have respected In Harm’s Way from the get-go, backing him at 8-5 when he was fourth in his debut on June 28 and at 3-2 when he broke his maiden by 4 ¾ lengths on July 15. Both starts came at Belmont Park going 5 ½ furlongs against New York-breds.
On July 30, In Harm’s Way, a Chester and Mary Broman homebred, breezed four furlongs in 50.03 seconds on the Saratoga main track with Hall of Famer Edgar Prado in the irons.
“Edgar worked him the other day, and the work went great,” said Hushion. “He’ll work him one more time. It won’t be anything special. We won’t worry about his condition.”
The Saratoga Special will be In Harm’s Way’s first start at 6 ½ furlongs.
“His gallop out was big the day he won, so it’s not like 6 ½ is going to bother him,” said Hushion. “I think 6 ½ is an edge for us.”
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On Friday, August 3 at 7 p.m., there will be a different kind of race on the Oklahoma training track. The Backstretch Appreciation Program, sponsored by John Hendrickson and Mary Lou Whitney, will host a footrace open to the Backstretch community on the historical track. There will be a one-mile run of various parts: a kid’s division, a run for the fillies, a relay, and the much-anticipated classic for those 200 pounds and over.
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