It was the third victory in four turf starts for the three-year-old Wheelaway colt. After four tries over the Aqueduct inner dirt track, including two for a $35,000 maiden claiming tag against other New York-breds, Tagg put Doc N Roll on the turf at the same level for near 10-length victory.
About 30 minutes before the Cab Calloway, Tagg won with Nehantic Kat, another New York-bred, in an allowance race against open company over the turf course to compensate for his 2-for-16 start within the first two weeks of the Saratoga meet.
“I thought both horses ran great; I thought both horses could win yesterday,” Tagg said. “We had only two winners coming into the meet. When I came to the barn, it started pouring and I thought we were going to scratch out of those races. Doc N Roll came out good and everything seems fine. We’ll see what’s available for him.”
With Knowlton standing next to him, Tagg asked the Sackatoga racing manager about possible next starts for Doc N Roll. Knowlton suggested they are interested in the $75,000 Cormorant Division of the New York Stallion Series for three-year-olds and up at nine furlongs on Aqueduct’s turf course on November 9.
“For good money, that’s about the best spot,” Knowlton said. “It will probably be about the same company of horses, but there will be older horses there as well. Obviously, we’ll find something before that. There could be an overnight stakes or something else available between now and that race.”
* * *
The $80,000 Waya Stakes, the featured eighth race on Friday’s 10-race card, features a group of six older fillies and mares who have not won a graded stakes race in 2008. It will be run at the marathon distance of a mile and a half on Saratoga’s inner turf course.
German-bred Caprice, who will break from the rail under recent Hall of Fame inductee Edgar Prado, has only made one previous start in the United States for trainer H. Graham Motion.
The five-year-old mare began her career in Germany, was then transferred to France, and ended up in the U.S. earlier this year. She finished third in her stateside debut in an optional claimer at Delaware Park in June, but that race was only at a mile and one-sixteenth. Caprice’s races in Europe were mostly at much longer distances, including one race at a mile and five-sixteenths, a distance rarely carded in America. She has one win at the Waya distance and it appears that she should appreciate the added distance.
Front-runner Tejida, trained by Michael Matz and owned by Helen Groves, is expected to be the favorite. While she hasn’t won a race since she took an optional claimer here at Saratoga last August, she has run very well against classy company. In March, she ran a game second to leading Grade 1 Beverly D. contender Mauralakana in the Grade 3 Very One Handicap at Gulfstream Park, and followed that up with another close second at Keeneland behind multiple graded stakes winner Communique in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes. In her most recent start, the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park, she finished fourth behind Mauralakana, Grade 1 Diana runner-up Dynaforce, and Grade 3 winner Hostess.
Jive, Goat Cheese, Leap in the Sun and Archstone complete the field should the race remain on the turf. Allen Jerkens-trained So Glitzy and Roy Lerman’s Jeepers are entered for the main track only.