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.





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Friday, August 31 2012


BALANCE THE BOOKS RALLIES TO WIN G2 WITH ANTICIPATION


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Balance the Books, last of nine turning for home, swept widest of all down the stretch to catch front-running Joha in the shadow of the wire and win Thursday afternoon’s Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation at Saratoga Race Course.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Balance the Books left from the far outside post and quickly dropped toward the back of the pack as Joha led the field of 2-year-olds through fractions of 23.60, 47.71 and 1:12.08 over a turf course rated “firm.” After bumping with Hightail as he swept six-wide on the turn, Balance the Books powered straight down the middle of the course and hit the wire a head in front of the pacesetter.





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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.





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NYRA NOTES; Thursday, August 30, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said this morning that Jackson Bend will get the chance to defend his title in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Forego. Zito had entered the 5-year-old son of Hear No Evil yesterday in the seven-furlong race but did not want to commit to running until he was absolutely certain Jackson Bend was suffering no after-effects from a training mishap two weeks ago.

“Everything we’ve seen so far has been good,” said Zito, who trains Jackson Bend for his breeder, Fred Brei, and Robert V. LePenta. “Jackson has passed all the tests. Physically, he looks terrific. All our vets and everyone I work with has given us clearance and assured us he is the same Jackson.”





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Tuesday, August 28 2012


NEW YORK WATCH: SIGN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. –Al Stall, Jr. continued his strong 2012 Saratoga Race Course meeting by sending out Sign to a 11 ¾-length debut victory on Sunday, the trainer’s sixth win from 20 starts since racing commenced here on July 20.

Sign drew the rail post and left the gate in seventh place before flashing speed along the inside to race in third, 1 ½ lengths behind the leader, through an opening quarter-mile in 22.56 seconds. After dropping back to fourth while awaiting running room on the turn, the daughter of Pulpit circled the field four wide and needed only minimal urging from Rosie Napravnik to run up the score in deep stretch.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Monday, August 27, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Love and Pride emerged from her 10-1 upset of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap in “excellent” shape, trainer Todd Pletcher said this afternoon, adding that the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational on September 29 at Belmont Park is a possibility for the 4-year-old A.P. Indy filly.

In the meantime, Pletcher is preparing to cap the extraordinary meet he’s having with 2-year-olds as he brings back some of his more impressive maiden winners in Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinaway and Monday’s Grade 2 Three Chimneys Hopeful.





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Monday, August 27 2012


FINAL STRETCH FESTIVAL INCLUDES FOUR DAYS OF FUN AS SARATOGA MEET DRAWS TO A CLOSE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Saratoga Race Course and downtown Saratoga Springs will mark the closing days of the 2012 summer racing meet with a Final Stretch festival that will feature multiple activities and special events beginning Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3.

The 2012 racing season will culminate in four days of events, food and entertainment throughout Saratoga Springs. Beginning with a “Party at the Spa,” presented by Coors Light, and closing with the annual Family Fun Fest, the weekend will include music, giveaways, family-friendly activities and first-class racing.





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LOVE AND PRIDE SPRINGS 10-1 UPSET IN PERSONAL ENSIGN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Racing with blinkers off, Love and Pride shadowed the early pacesetter for three-quarters of a mile, claimed the lead with five-sixteenths to travel, and held off odds-on Royal Delta late to register a 10-1 upset in the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational Handicap on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.

In her previous start, the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap on July 21, Love and Pride blazed a half-mile in 45.70 seconds before tiring to finish fourth, 9 ½ lengths behind winner Royal Delta. This time, she relaxed off the flank of Brushed by a Star through fractions of 24.16 and 47.69, and had ample in reserve to resist Royal Delta’s belated challenge and prevail by a half-length.





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JUVENILES VIE ON THE TURF IN G2 WITH ANTICIPATION


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher, who through Sunday had saddled 20 2-year-old winners at Saratoga Race Course this summer, will attempt to add yet another on Thursday when he sends out Charming Kitten and Notacatbutallama in the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the homebred Charming Kitten sparkled in his Spa debut on July 28, making a three-wide move on the turn and finishing up with good energy for a 1 ¾-length victory. The son of Kitten’s Joy, out of the Wild Again mare Iteration, completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.73.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Sunday, August 26, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Shared or not, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin remained thrilled and delighted Sunday morning by Alpha’s Grade 1, $1 million Travers victory. Godolphin Racing’s colt finished in a dead heat for the win with Golden Ticket, trained by Ken McPeek for Magic City Thoroughbred Partners.

“A win’s a win,” McLaughlin said, echoing the sentiments he had shared immediately after Saturday’s race. “We’re happy, very happy. It’s a great win, and it’s a win, that’s the most important thing. Someone texted me that it was a ‘K Mac’ day yesterday; K. McLaughlin and K. McPeek, both from Lexington.”





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Thursday, August 23 2012


CURRENCY SWAP, TRINNIBERG TOP FOXWOODS KING’S BISHOP


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The connections might try to play down a budding rivalry, but there is little question Trinniberg vs. Currency Swap is one of the best confrontations in racing.

The two colts will meet for a third time Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds, and if the grudge match is anything like their first two meetings, the race should be a highlight of the Travers Day card.





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TURF TALENT ABOUNDS IN GRADE 2 BALLSTON SPA PRESENTED BY JOSE CUERVO


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A deep field of eight fillies and mares, three Grade 1 winners among them, will square off Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course for the 24th running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa presented by Jose Cuervo at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Zagora, who finished third in an attempt to defend her title in the Grade 1 Diana on July 28, will attempt to regain the winning thread in the Ballston Spa. A 5-year-old French-bred daughter of Green Tune, Zagora is 3-0-1 in five starts this year, including victories in the Grade 3 Endeavour and Grade 3 Hillsborough, both at Tampa Bay Downs, as well the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico Race Course on May 19, the mare’s most recent start before the Diana.





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