(Liguria wins the Wild Applause / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown brings five chances to claim his seventh victory in Friday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Lake George, a one-mile inner turf test for sophomore fillies, at Saratoga Race Course.
The Brown-trained contenders are led by graded stakes-winner Liguria [post 4, Flavien Prat], who enters from a strong three-quarter-length triumph over stablemate Tax Implications [post 3, Manny Franco] in the one-mile Wild Applause on June 24 at Belmont Park. There, she pounced from four lengths off the pace under Irad Ortiz, Jr. to cross the wire first in a final time of 1:35.01 and earn a career-high 87 Beyer Speed Figure.
The daughter of War Front, owned by Alpha Delta Stables, won the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante in December at Del Mar before a five-month respite that ended with a close fifth-place effort in the Grade 2 Edgewood in May at Churchill Downs where she was defeated 1 1/2 lengths by the victorious Heavenly Sunday.
Brown spoke highly of Liguria and said the bay filly ranks among the top of her division.
“She’s in top form right now,” Brown said. “She’s training outstanding. She’s a nice prospect – one of the better 3-year-old turf fillies I think. She’s found her form back in the second start of the year and she looks pretty good coming into this race.”
Tax Implications tracked close to Liguria throughout the Wild Applause to duel with her down the lane and come up just shy of victory, garnering an 86 Beyer. Owned by Klaravich Stables, Tax Implications graduated by 6 3/4 lengths on debut going one mile in September at Monmouth Park and closed out her juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort stablemate Implicated in the Chelsey Flower in October at Belmont at the Big A.
“It was her first race off the layoff and she’ll improve,” said Brown. “They both ran very well.”
Wise Racing’s Revalita [post 5, Tyler Gaffalione] has posted three consecutive strong performances at the graded level for Brown, including a last-out third in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Wonder Again on June 11 at Belmont. The Recoletos French-bred was nine lengths behind the pace through the first quarter-mile, but made up ground throughout under Jose Ortiz to finish just 1 1/4 lengths back of her victorious stablemate Prerequisite.
Revalita, who moved stateside in March after beginning her career in her native France with trainer Joel Boisnard, is in search of her first win since a seven-furlong allowance coup in September over soft turf at Le Lion D’angers in France. She finished fourth, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride for her American debut in March ahead of a close runner-up effort by the same margin in the Grade 2 Edgewood.
“She’s a stakes-level horse that’s been knocking on the door,” said Brown. “Cutting back to a mile, we’ll have to see if it proves maybe just a tick short for her. She’s got a nice turn of foot and she’s doing well.”
Rounding out the Brown-trained contingent are a pair of winners for Klaravich Stables in Utilization Rate [post 7, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and Surge Capacity [post 2, Joel Rosario]. The former arrives from a five-length victory at third asking in a May 27 maiden going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont while the latter garnered an 80 Beyer for a 1 1/2-length debut score in a June 10 maiden tilt going the same distance at Monmouth.
“They’re only maiden winners, but both of them won impressively by many lengths and I’ve always thought a lot of them,” said Brown. “I don’t see an allowance race that fits them anywhere or any other stake that I really want to take them to, so those two are entered from limited opportunities. I really do think they’re graded stakes-level fillies. I don’t know off maiden wins, but it wouldn’t surprise me either.”
Siena Farm, Michael Kisber, Peter Deutsch and the Elkstone Group’s Queen Picasso looks to double up on graded scores after taking the Grade 3 Soaring Softly on May 27 at Belmont.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the Kingman bay, who is undefeated in two starts, tracked a half-length off the pace in second through first half-mile of the seven-furlong sprint before pouncing with a well-timed cue from Jose Ortiz to kick clear at the top of the stretch and win by two lengths.
Queen Picasso is out of the Danroad mare Aris – a half-sister to multiple group stakes-winner Again – and is a half-sister to multiple group stakes-winner and sire Aclaim.
Ortiz retains the mount from post 1.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle Donald R. Dizney’s stakes-winner Princess Bettina [post 9, Dylan Davis] for her second start since moving east from the barn of Peter Eurton this spring. The Will Take Charge filly broke her maiden at third asking in October at Santa Anita and won the Arcadia oval’s one-mile China Doll in March for her first triumph against winners.
Princess Bettina made her first outing for Pletcher in the one-mile Penn Oaks on June 2 at Penn National where she tracked in fifth through the first two points of call and improved to third when racing two-wide at the quarter pole, but failed to kick clear down the lane and settled for show honors.
“She’s doing well. We didn’t exactly get the trip we wanted at Penn,” said Pletcher. “We’ll probably employ some different tactics here. She came in to us in excellent condition and she’s a pretty easy filly to train. She’s enthusiastic without overdoing it and she’s been pretty straightforward.”
Completing the field are two-time winners Tryinmyheartout [post 8, John Velazquez] for trainer Jose Camejo and Secret Money [post 10, Javier Castellano] for trainer Brendan Walsh; and the stakes-placed Lil Miss Moonlight [post 6, Luis Saez] for conditioner Timothy Hamm.
The Lake George is slated as Race 9 on Friday’s 10-race card, which co-features the $135,000 Curlin in Race 4. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.
Saratoga Live will present live coverage and analysis of the Saratoga Race Course summer meet on the networks of FOX Sports. For the broadcast schedule and channel finder, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule/.