“Only three weeks ago, we ran the same race at Belmont for $53,000,” said Pat Quick, who trains Borrowing Base for Daddie’s Girl’s Stable. “And with the New York-bred bonus, the horse won something like $72,000. It was like winning a stakes race. It was a great day for everyone.”
With 10 horses starting in Thursday’s race, $8,000 was added for each of the four additional starters.
“Any time they can get more starters, it’s wonderful,” said Quick. “The longer races are more fun to watch, too, so it’s great for everyone involved.”
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Rick Mettee, the North American manager for Godolphin Racing LLC, said Music Note and Little Belle are both doing well as they prepare for the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 10 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on August 16.
Music Note proved to be much the best in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks by defeating stablemate Little Belle by 11 lengths on Belmont Park’s closing weekend. It was A.P. Indy filly’s fourth consecutive victory, including the Grade 1 Mother Goose.
Little Belle, also a Grade 1 winner in the Ashland Stakes and runner up to Proud Spell in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, was 6 ¾ lengths ahead of the remaining five-horse Coaching Club American Oaks field.
While Mettee may have two of the top three-year-old fillies in the country, he knows both fillies need to be separated from each other leading up to the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Championship for older fillies and mares at nine furlongs at Santa Anita on October 24..
“Both are doing well and we’re planning to run both of them in the Alabama,” Mettee said. “Even though the race is a couple of weeks, it’s still a `go.’ After the Alabama, decisions need to be made and we’ll separate them.”
Jalil, who won the last leg of the Sakhee Al Maktoum Challenge and who finished seventh to Curlin in the Dubai World Cup, is currently stabled at Saratoga. Mettee said he’s uncertain about Jalil’s next start.
“He had a strong campaign earlier in the year,” Mettee said. “We got him a couple of weeks ago at Belmont. It’s about a couple of weeks away before he returns, and I don’t know if he will run here.”
Mettee is expecting UAE. One-thousand Guineas and UAE. Oaks winner Cocoa Beach to arrive before the end of the Saratoga meet; however, she will be not race until the Belmont Park fall meet.
Tam Lin, originally nominated for Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Fourstardave at Saratoga, is expected make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Play the King Stakes for three-year-olds and up running seven furlongs over the Woodbine turf course on August 23.
Tam Lin is coming off a second-place finish to Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Kip Deville in the Grade 3 Poker Handicap at Belmont Park. If Tam Lin is successful at Woodbine, Mettee may consider the Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Breeders’ Cup Handicap for three-year-olds and upwards going 1 mile on the Belmont Park turf course on September 28.
“We didn’t think he would get the mile and a sixteenth in the Fourstardave,” he said. “We want to keep him at one turn. Our game plan is to run him in the Play the King and bring him back to Belmont for the Kelso.”
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Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said Friday morning that defending champion older filly Ginger Punch, gutsy winner of the Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap last Saturday, will make her next start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Personal Ensign here at Saratoga Race Course on August 22.
“If she is the same way she is today, we will run her back in the Personal Ensign,” said Frankel.
Frankel said he would also nominate Spring Waltz for the mile and one quarter Personal Ensign, but would most likely run her in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park on August 24.
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Perfectly content after the arrival of two boxes of apple cider donuts from FoCastle Farm Country Store in Burnt Hills, trainer Bob Baffert sent out Under Serviced to the main track Friday morning in preparation for the August 7 New York Stallion Series, Statue of Liberty Division.
The three-year-old daughter of Hook and Ladder went four furlongs in 47.92.
“She was beautiful – she worked really nice,” said Baffert of Under Serviced, who was a $325,000 yearling purchase. “She had won first time out (last year), and then had problems with her knees. She won at Belmont in June, and then ran second -- she’s back on her game.”
Baffert, who will be saddling Eclipse award winner Indian Blessing in the Grade 1 Test on Saturday, will also send out her two-year-old half-brother Spaniard in the second race, a 6 ½-furlong maiden race.
“He’s not like her,” said Baffert of the son of Candy Ride out of the Flying Chevron mare Shameful, who was sixth in his first start at Hollywood on June 19. “I’m hoping he’ll run farther, or maybe turf. I think he’ll be all right.”
Also starting for Baffert Saturday will be last year’s Grade 2 Adirondack winner, More Happy, making her first start in nearly a year as she faces Grade 1 Spinaway winner Irish Smoke in the $80,000 Flanders Stakes.
“She’s coming off a long layoff -- she had throat surgery last year,” said Baffert of More Happy, whose last start was a fifth-place finish in the Spinaway. “Then, she kept spiking a temperature and she had pneumonia, so we stopped on her for 60 days. This is a good spot for her.”
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Bustin Stones, scratched from last Saturday’s Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt with a stone bruise in his right front foot, is scheduled to return to the track for the first time since the injury on Saturday morning, said trainer Bruce Levine.
“We’re going to put the saddle on him and see how he does under pressure,” said Levine.
The trainer said there was no timetable for the return of the undefeated New York-bred, who has not raced since winning the Grade 1 Carter.
“We’re going to train him for a few days and see where he’s at before deciding anything,” he said.
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Discreet Treasure, a half-brother to Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner Discreet Cat, worked five furlongs in 1:03.94 this morning on Saratoga's main track for trainer Stan Hough.
The three-year-old gray son of El Prado out of Pretty Discreet, by Private Account, is coming off an impressive debut performance at Belmont Park on July 7th in which he took a maiden special weight by 12 1/4 lengths from well off the pace. The race, originally scheduled for turf, was contested on a wet track at seven furlongs.
Hough, who also trained Discreet Cat for his unveiling at Saratoga in 2005 before he was privately purchased by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had this to say about Discreet Treasure: “He’s been good. It’s hard to tell [what kind of horse he is]. I’m going to try to run him back a distance. You know, he’s altogether different than his brother was. He’s the complete opposite. His brother had a lot of speed; he doesn’t. He acts more like a distance horse. His race was impressive, but again, it was off the turf and you don’t really know what was in there and that speed was coming back while he was moving forward at the same time. So, we’ll have to see him run again.”
Both sons of Pretty Discreet were bred by E. Paul Robsham and Discreet Treasure is still owned by E. Paul Robsham Stables, LLC.
Mauralaka (Fr), winner of the Grade 2 New York Stakes and Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap this year at Belmont Park, breezed three furlongs in :37.88 on Thursday morning for trainer Christophe Clement.
“She worked okay and she came back okay,” said Clement. “We’re in good shape for the Beverly D.”
The Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes will be run at Arlington Park on Saturday, August 9th at 1 3/16 miles for older fillies and mares on the turf.
Mauralakana is a five-year-old daughter of Muhtathir out of Jimkana (by Double Bed). She has earned more than $1 million in France and the U.S. and is now owned by Robert Scarborough.
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Sunday’s giveaway will be a free Saratoga T-shirt for each paid admission, while supplies last.