Quaintly, who carried the colors of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrrick Smith in Ireland before being sent to America and trainer Patrick Biancone earlier this year, has been nominated to the Grade 1 $500,000 United Nations Stakes here on July 7. She’s the only filly among the 18 turf specialists nominated and now she needs to tell her trainer if she’s ready for the race, which is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the $3 million Turf this fall.
“We have to work her this weekend (in Southern California) but we’re booked to come here. She’ll stretch her legs and we’ll see how she comes out of it. She’s booked on a plane for Monday and we will decide Sunday if she’s going to be on it,” said Biancone, who was on the Monmouth backside on Friday morning. “If she’s perfect, she’ll be on the plane. When you run them back a bit quickly, you need to make sure that everything is alright.”
“That last race was not her style. They just sprinted to the three-eighths pole,” said Biancone. “The longer the race, the better for her. She likes firm going and she likes the distance (of the United Nations).”
Biancone said that Quaintly was sent to the United States because she was showing more ability in her morning outings than she was in her afternoon races and her connections felt that she would be better suited to the American tracks.
“She likes to run in circles,” he said. “You’ll often see that horses who come over from Europe find another dimension here. Some like to run in circles (as opposed to the straight-aways on European courses). They like the smaller tracks. When the race is a-mile-and-three-eighths, they go three turns and she will like that.”
Quaintly has two wins, three thirds and four seconds from 14 career starts and in three efforts in America since April, has two seconds and a third.
TOP THREE VIOLET STAKES WINNERS REPEAT IN EATONTOWN
Last out in the Grade 3 $100,000 Violet Stakes here on May 28, Ruthenia, Pinch Pie and Unbridled Humor ran one-two-three and the trio returns Saturday for the Grade 3 $100,000 Eatontown Stakes, which will also be on the grass at one-mile-and-a-sixteenth.
Tony Dutrow, who will send out Pinch Pie, hopes for a different outcome.
“She seems to be approaching the Eatontown as she approached the Violet,” he said of the 4-year-old filly by Victory Gallop. “Pinch Pie went into the Violet at her very best and I also think she may very well have run the best race of her life that day. We were simply second best. The (Christophe) Clement filly (Ruthenia, a length winner) outkicked us and beat us on the square.”
For the Eatontown, Ruthenia picked up five pounds and will carry co-highweight of 123 pounds while Pinch Pie drops two pounds and will have to tote a 116 pound impost.
“I hope she (Ruthenia) is not as good as she was last time,” said Dutrow. “But I think it’s going to be very competitive again. I believe that my filly is doing super and that’s what we’re in control of for the most part. We’ll take her back up there and hope that’s our day (Saturday).”
PLETCHER HOLDS STRONG HAND IN THE LIGHTHOUSE
The $75,000 Lighthouse Stakes for fillies and mares is the supporting feature on Saturday’s card and trainer Todd Pletcher has entered two stakes winners in the field of 11. R Gypsy Gold, a Mrs. E Paul Robsham homebred, will ship in from Belmont Park and WinStar Farm’s Savvy Supreme has been on the grounds since arriving from Pletcher’s New York division for the $75,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes on May 27, when the 2011 Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks winner finished fourth as the even-money favorite.
“Savvy definitely needs to improve off that race to win, especially if she’s going to beat the other filly (R Gypsy Gold),” said Anthony Sciametta, the assistant to Pletcher. “When she’s on her game, she’s really okay.”
R Gypsy Gold just missed by a head in the Wayward Lassie Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on March 17 and it was her first race back since the Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct last November. The 4-year-old daughter of Beranardini has been working forwardly at Palm Meadows and Belmont in preparation.
While R Gypsy may be the morning line favorite, North Freeway arrives with a three-race winning streak, including the Winter Melodies Stakes at Delaware Park in her last.
“She coming in ready to run,” said Tony Dutrow, who claimed her for $35,000 four starts back. “She is getting a bit of a class test, but I do think she has the talent. The test will be if she has enough class.”
Leading rider Elvis Trujillo picks up the mount on North Freeway.