Saturday, September 01, 2012


SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, August 31, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Palace Malice, a son of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, will not run in the Grade 2, $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes on Monday because of a pronounced bucked shin.

“He bucked his shins and he’ll be off for a little while,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of the Dogwood Stable colt, who missed by a half-length when second in his debut to Carried Interest at Belmont Park and then won a 6 ½-furlong maiden race by 3 ½ lengths on August 4 at the Spa.


Palace Malice breezed four furlongs in 48.90 seconds on Monday, after which the bucked shin – an inflammation around bones in the front legs – was discovered. The minor injury is common in young race horses.

“He is a May foal, so it’s not a complete shock that he has bucked,” Dogwood President Cot Campbell said in a prepared statement. “But it is a blow, because we thought he would be salty to accomplish Dogwood’s third win in the Hopeful. But now he ships this weekend to Dr. Bob Copelan in Kentucky and will be treated for the shin problem. He will then rehab in Aiken for a 3-year-old campaign in Florida.”

Palace Malice was a $200,000 purchase this year at the Keeneland Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April.

Pletcher will still be represented by three runners in the Hopeful, Shanghai Bobby and Lawn Man for Starlight Racing, as well as Repole Stable’s Overanalyze.

* * *

Only one entrant in Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway has beaten winners, and that’s Maggi Moss’ So Many Ways, who enters the seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies off a win in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on July 20.

Trainer Tony Dutrow acknowledged the waters will be deeper in the Spinaway but says So Many Ways will have an experience edge in the race. In the six-furlong Schuylerville, the Sightseeing filly made an outside rally from fifth to win by 1 ½ lengths.

“There are some talented maiden breakers in there that would lead one to believe that they’re going to be nice horses, but at the same time they’re all not going to get their way this time, and that will be an issue to some of them,” said Dutrow. “Our filly has the experience of sitting behind horses and finishing up, and I’m excited about that fact, and I’m excited about stretching her out to seven eighths.”

So Many Ways’ competition in the Spinaway includes the potent coupled entry of Teen Pauline and Dreaming of Julia, who both made impressive winning debuts earlier in the meet, and Seasoned Warrior, who graduated by 3 ¾ lengths in her second start.

“We’re looking forward to Sunday, and we have to feel good about our chances,” said Dutrow, who won last year’s Spinaway with Grace Hall. “And don’t get me wrong, I’m quite aware of the talent that’s in the race.”

* * *

La Cloche may not be as acclaimed as her multiple Grade 1-winning, recently retired younger half-sister Winter Memories, but she’ll have the chance to gain further recognition when she competes in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel on September 15 at Belmont Park.

On Friday, La Cloche breezed five furlongs in 1:04.09 on the Oklahoma turf course.

The Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, is one of two graded stakes on the September 15 card, the other being the Grade 1 Garden City, a race Toner won last year with Winter Memories, who was retired with a bone bruise after she captured the Grade 1 Diana in July at the Spa.

“I wish it was Winter Memories [running in the Noble Damsel], but I can’t do anything about that,” Toner said with a chuckle. “But [La Cloche is] doing well.”

La Cloche, a 5-year-old, became a stakes winner two starts back when she annexed Belmont’s Voodoo Dancer overnight stakes on July 8. In her most recent start, she was fifth in the De La Rose on August 4 at Saratoga. Three of her four wins have come at Belmont.

“She ran up here [at Saratoga], and she didn’t run as well as I expected her to,” said Toner. “I think she likes Belmont, the one-turn mile.”

Like Winter Memories, La Cloche races for her breeder, the Phillips Racing Partnership. The Phillips family of Darby Dan Farm also campaigned their dam, two-time Grade 1 winner Memories of Silver.

“In her own right, [La Cloche] has been a very competitive, nice filly,” said Toner. “She’s won a stakes, she’s stakes placed, and she tries very hard. She’s not at the level [of Winter Memories], but how many are?”

* * *

A year ago, Fire On Ice made one of the more impressive debuts at Saratoga, romping to a 10 ½-length victory on Travers Day. It would be the Unbridled’s Song colt’s only start of 2011, as he later suffered a condylar fracture in his right hind leg while training for the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont.

The 3-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song signaled his readiness for a return to racing, breezing five furlongs on Wednesday in 1:00.58, his fifth work at the distance since he resumed training in June at Belmont Park.

“I was very pleased with the way he went,” said trainer John Kimmel of the gray colt, purchased privately by Frank Stronach from Kimmel and Eli Gindi last September. “I’ve been trying to breeze him in company but no one can keep up with him. He’s been doing very, very well.”

The trainer said Fire On Ice likely will come back shortly after racing moves to Belmont on September 8.

Fire On Ice, who sold for $160,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s July Selected Yearlings sale and was a $170,000 buy-back at Keeneland’s Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale, is the third foal and first winner out of Lost in the Storm, an unraced half-sister to 2001 champion sprinter Squirtle Squirt.


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