A four-year-old daughter of Street Cry, Street Sass has made 17 career starts, with three victories. Two of those wins have come at Belmont Park and both have come at six furlongs.
This has complicated matters for Weaver.
“But I really believe that, based on her numbers, she fits in this New York-bred filly and mare sprint division. There are always a few tough horses in this division, but I believe that if she can run her race, that she will be able to get seven furlongs and be able to fit right in.”
That would certainly come in handy here on October 18 when Belmont Park hosts New York Showcase Day. Of the seven stakes races offered on the day, all of which are restricted to state-breds, the $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for fillies and mares at seven furlongs would seem a logical goal for the fall.
Buoying Weaver’s confidence in Street Sass is her race on August 18 in the six-furlong Union Avenue at Saratoga Race Course. It was her first race under jockey Eibar Coa. She broke slowly, but that really wasn’t such a bad break for a horse that is going to close anyway.
Coa got her widest of all and set for a clear run home. Or so it seemed.
The real problem came at the quarter-pole, when eventual winner By the Light carried Street Sass wide as she took the turn. They even brushed in the lane for good measure, and Street Sass wound up beating only two horses.
But she was only beaten less than three lengths for it all.
“The incident at the quarter-pole really took her out,” Weaver said. “When he came back, Coa said he thought he was a winner and had a ton of horse, so I am expecting her to run much better in the Schenectady. She drew the 1-hole, but we’re hoping some horses run away from her and give her a chance to slide out and make her run.
“Eibar did a really nice job last time of keeping dirt out of her face, and she ran for him. She’s been training great, and we’re going to run rain or shine.”
Highweight at 120 pounds here is Albert Fried Jr.’s Light Tactic, who won three of her first four career starts, but who is on a two-race skid. The four-year-old Tactical Cat filly was forced to alter her course in the Union Avenue as well.
Trainer Billy Turner has a consistent runner here in Castle Village Farm’s Just Zip It.
A 4-year-old daughter of City Zip, Just Zip It has made nine starts with three wins, three seconds and three thirds. And while her only start at seven furlongs was a distant third at Aqueduct back in April, she is an improving horse that seems to do well with her races well-spaced.
She is also coming out of the Union Avenue, having managed to avoid the traffic problems that plagued others. At better than 18-1, she opened a lead, but was beaten three-quarters of a length by By the Light. Light Tactic necked her for the place.
Trainer Steve Klesaris, who exited Saratoga with victory in the Grade 1 Spinaway, thanks to Mani Bhavan, will go with Salt Water Reign, yet another who had to swerve to avoid trouble in the Union Avenue.
In fact, the only member of the Schenectady field that was not in the Union Avenue was Under Serviced, a Hook and Ladder filly who has won three of four starts for trainer Bob Baffert. Her lone loss came here at Belmont Park, when she was beaten three-quarters of a length in her third career start. She has won here in the mud, however.
The field for Sunday’s Schenectady:
PP. HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WGT.
1. Street Sass George Weaver Eibar Coa 115
2. Salt Water Reign Steve Klesaris John Velazquez 115
3. Precise Lady Patrick Kelly Javier Castellano 115
4. Under Serviced Bob Baffert Kent Desormeaux 114
5. Just Zip It Billy Turner Jose Espinoza 116
6. Light Tactic Richard Schosberg Alan Garcia 120