Saratoga Barn Notes: Strike Power On Target for G1 Vanderbilt

(Mark Hennig / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Courtlandt Farms’ homebred graded stakes winner Strike Power breezed four furlongs in 47.82 seconds on the Saratoga main track on Saturday and remains on target for the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on July 27, trainer Mark Hennig said.

A 4-year-old son of Speightstown out of graded stakes-placed mare Gold d’Oro by Medaglia d’Oro, Strike Power won the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream as a 3-year-old before going on the Kentucky Derby trail to finish eighth in the 2018 Florida Derby and subsequently cutting back to seven furlongs, finishing eighth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont. Following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Amsterdam, Strike Power tried turf, finishing ninth in the Better Talk Now.

Strike Power kicked off his 2019 campaign with an allowance victory at 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt at Gulfstream Park in April, and followed with a strong second in the Grade 2 True North, recording a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s going to breeze again this weekend but we should be on schedule for the Vanderbilt,” said Hennig. “He’s been continuing to do well out of the True North. That was a good effort and if he runs back to that race we should he should be very competitive. We’ll take it day-by-day, but he’s continuing to do well.”

Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s 3-year-old graded stakes-placed Tapit colt Bourbon War finished second in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in March and fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

He then contested two-thirds of the Triple Crown, running eighth in the Grade 1 Preakness and most recently 10th in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.

Hennig said Bourbon War will bypass the $100,000 Curlin on July 26 and instead breeze on the turf with the $100,000 Better Talk Now as a target on Sunday, August 25.

“We’re not targeting the Curlin,” said Hennig. “He hasn’t breezed yet following the Belmont and just came back in after a short layoff. We’re going to get him back going and breeze him on the grass. If that goes well, we would consider something like the Better Talk Now.”

Hennig also reported 3-year-old Achilles Warrior for owner David Merjan would target the Grade 2 $200,000 Amsterdam on Sunday, July 28.

The Warriors Reward colt won his debut at Saratoga in August of 2018 before entering the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, where he finished 10th. Following an eight-place finish in the Juvenile Stallion at Churchill Downs in October he returned to finish second in an allowance race in his first start of the year on April 7.

Following up with a fifth-place finish in an allowance race at Belmont on May 10, Achilles Warrior won a first-level allowance on June 30 at Belmont by 2 ¾ lengths recording a career high 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s doing well,” said Hennig. I think he wants to start stretching out a little bit, but we’ll try the Amsterdam first and he’s on target for that race.”

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G1 Vanderbilt or Tale of the Cat likely next for Imperial Hint

Trainer Luis Carvajal, Jr. is still not certain of which race Imperial Hint will make his next start, but regardless it will most likely take place at Saratoga.

The dual Grade 1-winner will either target a repeat victory in the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on July 27 or the $100,000 Tale of the Cat on August 9. Both events are contested at six furlongs over the Saratoga main track.

Imperial Hint, a Florida-bred dark bay son of Imperialism, has not raced since a third-place finish in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse. Since then, he has recorded a series of bullet works over the main track at Monmouth Park, most recently a five-furlong move in 1:00.40 on Wednesday morning – the fastest of 17 recorded works at the distance.

“He worked really well today so we’ll have to discuss with the owners,” Carvajal said. “We’re not 100% sure for the Vanderbilt or another couple weeks for the Tale of the Cat.”

Last year he registered a 108 Beyer Speed Figure for his winning effort in the Vanderbilt, where he sat just off a torrid pace, and swept four wide at the top of the stretch under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano to win by 3 ¾ lengths.

“That’s just him, he’s a work horse and he always works fast,” Carvajal said. “I think I’m a little short on time and I want to make sure he’s fit enough. I need to discuss with the owner, so not 100 percent sure where we’ll run yet.”

Imperial Hint is out of the Lahint broodmare Royal Hint and has won 12 of 21 career starts, five of which were graded stakes wins, and has cashed a total of $1,841,655.

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Varenka possible for G2 Lake Placid 

Following a hard-fought triumph against winners on Sunday, trainer Graham Motion said he will put Varenkaback up against stakes company and will nominate the bay daughter of Ghostzapper to the Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid over the Saratoga turf on August 17.

Owned by Augustin Stable, Varenka has made 3-of-7 career starts against graded stakes company. Prior to Sunday’s victory, she was third in the Grade 3 Regret to Hard Legacy following a stylish two-length maiden win over Belmont Park’s Widener turf in May.

In Sunday’s race – a 1 1/16-mile event for sophomore fillies over the inner turf – Varenka was seventh early, went five wide at the top of the stretch and out-battled Catch a Bid to win by a neck under Jose Ortiz.

“There were nice fillies in there and it was the decision to either run here or in a stake,” Motion said. “We wanted to take the conservative route, these races are tough and then we drew the outside. But Jose gave her a great ride, he was patient and she’s a nice filly. I felt that Jose knew he had a lot of horse, so I thought that was more of confidence from Jose.”

Placed against stakes company three times, Varenka was runner-up in last year’s P.G. Johnson at Saratoga as well as the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, where she was beaten 6 ½ lengths to Newspaperofrecord.

Bred in Kentucky by Strawbridge, Varenka is out of the stakes winning Dynaformer broodmare Dynamic Cat and is a full-sister to turf stakes winner Lift Up.

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Gentle Ruler could point to G3 Fasig-Tipton Waya

Morsches Stable’s Gentle Ruler has done nothing but climb up the ladder in her last four career starts and after adding “graded stakes winner” to her resume last out, the Ian Wilkes trainee will seek another win at such caliber in the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya on August 4 over the turf at Saratoga.

Twelfth time was the charm for the daughter of Colonel John as she triumphed over a muddy main track at Gulfstream Park in March to break her maiden. Gentle Ruler has not lost in her subsequent four starts, encompassing an allowance over the Keeneland turf going 1 ½ miles, the Keertana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs, and most recently the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park.

“We’ll probably bring her to Saratoga for the Waya, but I’m just waiting because I ran her at Delaware,” Wilkes said. “She’s back at Skylight Training Center [in Louisville, Ky.] The filly is doing tremendous. It took me twelve starts to break her maiden and she’s got into a nice rhythm.”

Although winless through her first 11 starts, she finished in the money eight of those times, racing against eventual graded stakes winners Daddy Is A Legend and Miss Mo Mentum, as well as Smart Shot and Limari, who ran a respective second and third in the Grade 3 Old Forester Mint Julep last month at Churchill.

“Kudos to the owner, it’s not like she ran bad,” Wilkes said. “She kept running behind some nice horses and just couldn’t quite get it done and then all of a sudden, she upped her maturity level. She used to always go out and trained with a pony, but this year she’s fine and will train without one.”

Bred in Kentucky by Builder’s Mart, Gentle Ruler is out of the Cozzene broodmare Winikins. She has banked $340,053 in 15 career starts.

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Servis stars set to shine in Saratoga stakes

Trainer Jason Servis will look to make an impact on the Saratoga stakes scene this summer with World of Trouble, Firenze Fire, Final Jeopardy and Grumps Little Tots.

Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stable’s World of Trouble, a Grade 1-winner on turf and dirt, will make his next start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint set for August 3 at the Spa.

“World of Trouble is going in the Troy. He’s been training at Saratoga and he’s doing great,” said Servis. “He just had an open gallop, like I do with them.”

Servis said he appreciated the sportsmanship of World of Trouble’s owners, who purchased the colt privately after a romping maiden win on August 10, 2017 in a maiden claimer at Gulfstream.

“These owners make their own luck,” said Servis. “When that horse ran for ‘maiden 25’, they went and bought him privately and they paid good money for him. A lot of people wouldn’t have done that. They would have said, ‘That’s too much money’ and they would never have done that. But these owners wanted this horse, and he turned out to be terrific. Just look at his record. He’s a runner.”

With a record of 9-2-1 from 13 starts and more than $1.2 million in purse earnings, World of Trouble has continued to improve with each start. Last out, the 4-year-old Kantharos colt won the Grade 1 Jaipur to notch his seventh win in his last eight starts.

Servis pointed to his 2 3/4 length score in the off-the-turf Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint in January as an indicator of the colt’s exceptional talent.

“He ran in turf shoes, which are like almost no toe, and look at what he did. For him to run that race and win like that, it’s huge. This is a special horse,” said Servis.

Manny Franco, undefeated in four starts aboard World of Trouble, will retain the mount for the Troy.

Servis said Mr. Amore Stable’s homebred Firenze Fire will make his next start in the Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, a six-furlong sprint set for July 27 at the Spa. Last out, Firenze Fire finished fifth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

“Firenze Fire is going in the Vanderbilt,” said Servis. “He’s cutting back to a sprint after running in the Met Mile.”

A seven-time winner from 17 starts, Firenze Fire won the Grade 3 Sanford and Grade 1 Champagne as a juvenile on the NYRA circuit. Last year, he added the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont and Grade 3 Gallant Bob at Parx to his ledger.

The 4-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior earned a 106 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Runhappy on May 11 at Belmont, a six-furlong sprint.

“If you look at his race in the Runhappy he ran a huge race at six furlongs,” said Servis. “Look at his Beyer [106]. Mitole will be in there and it looks like we’re getting another crack at him.”

Servis also said Gary and Mary West’s Final Jeopardy will make his next start in the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens, a seven-furlong main track sprint set for August 24; and that Michael Dubb, Coyle Boys Stable and Bethlehem Stables’ Grumps Little Tots will go to the $100,000 Curlin on July 27.

Grumps Little Tots, a dark bay son of Sky Mesa, was a troubled ninth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets. Last out, he was placed second in the Easy Goer at Belmont on June 8, which was won by Majid.

“He got put up last time in the Easy Goer. The Wood was a tough race for him. This should be an easier spot for him, but at Saratoga they’re all tough,” said Servis.

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Endorsed looking to stretch out in Curlin; A Thread of Blue Turf Trinity bound in Saratoga Derby

Godolphin homebred Endorsed could be stretching out in distance for his next start, with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin pointing him towards the $100,000 Curlin for sophomores going 1 1/8 miles on the Saratoga main track on Friday, July 26.

On June 23, Endorsed returned from a more than eight-month layoff to best a five-horse allowance field for a one-length victory at Belmont Park. That marked his return to racing for the first time capping his juvenile campaign with a sixth-place finish in the one-mile Grade 1 Champagne on October 6 at Belmont; marking the only time in his three career starts he ran longer than six furlongs.

“He’s doing very well and we’ll most likely go to the Curlin,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll confirm it [with the owners] the in the next day or two. It’s a big step from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth, but we always thought he wanted the distance. We wish it was a mile instead of a mile and an eighth, but I’m sure a few other people are in that spot, too.”

The son of Medaglia d’Oro, out of graded stakes-winner Dance Card, was also a candidate for the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at the Curlin distance. He also was a possibility for the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam at 6 ½ furlongs on July 28. But McLaughlin said he wanted to test Endorsed at a longer distance in the hopes of potentially running in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 24.

McLaughlin also said if distance-issues prevail, the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial at seven furlongs on Travers Day remains a fallback.

“The Amsterdam was there, too but we want to stretch him out, so most likely the Curlin,” McLaughlin said. “If he doesn’t run well, we can always turn back for the Allen Jerkens. But if he runs well, we’ll go to the Travers.”

Leonard Green’s A Thread of Blue is pointing towards the $1 million Saratoga Derby on Sunday, August 4, McLaughlin said.

Fourth last out in the Grade 2 Penn Mile, the Hard Spun colt skipped the first leg of the Turf Trinity, the Grade 1 Belmont Derby at a mile and a quarter, and will now target the second leg, 1 3/8-mile Saratoga Derby in the New York Racing Association’s newly implemented Turf Triple Series. The concluding leg will be the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational on September 7 at Belmont.

A Thread of Blue shipped from Belmont and recorded his first breeze at Saratoga on July 13, being clocked four furlongs in 48.26 seconds on the main track.

“He’s working weekly and doing well,” McLaughlin said. “He’s doing very well. We were a little unlucky to miss the race at Belmont. We weren’t sure and then he spiked a temperature two weeks out and missed a work, so we decided to wait.”

Shadwell Stable’s Qurbaan came out of his third-place finish in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple on July 12 at Saratoga in good order and is looking to run again at the Spa in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on Saturday, August 10, McLaughlin said.

The 5-year-old Speightstown colt, who ran eighth in the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day June 8, won five races overseas before making his North American debut at Saratoga last year, winning the 2018 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch on Closing Day, September 3.

“We’re looking at the Fourstardave and we’ll try him again,” McLaughlin said.

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Coletti, Jr. considering jump to stakes company for Midtowncharlybrown

Speaking from his home base at Parx Racing, conditioner Ed Coletti, Jr. reported Pennsylvania-bred stakes winner Midtowncharlybrown remained under consideration to try graded stakes competition next out in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt on July 27.

The 5-year-old son of multiple graded stakes placed Uptowncharlybrown, owned by Uptowncharlybrown Stud and Godric, has accumulated nine wins from 19 career starts with an impressive seven wins from 12 starts at the Vanderbilt distance of six furlongs.

Midtowncharlybrown launched his 2019 campaign with a fifth-place finish at Parx in the Lyman Handicap on April 27, and rebounded to win the Chocolate Town Sprint at Penn National recording a career high 96 Beyer Speed Figure.

“Yeah, it’s a race [Vanderbilt] that’s been on our radar for a little while,” said Coletti, Jr. “He had a little break in the winter and he’s raced forwardly since then. He possesses speed out of the gate, but is also tactical enough to sit off, so we’ll look at who else may go in there before we make a decision.”

Should Midtowncharlybrown run in the Vanderbilt, Coletti, Jr. said the horse is will most likely to ship into Saratoga the morning of the race.

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Chatterpaul hoping to strike in Bowling Green with Catcho En Die

Catcho En Die, co-owned and trained by Naipaul Chatterpaul, is under consideration for the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green on July 27.

The 7-year-old gelding is still looking for his first win this year off his two disappointing efforts in the Grade 1 Manhattan and United Nations Stakes. Hoping that his horse can move forward off those races, Chatterpaul said he is trying to get a work into Catcho En Die before deciding on the Bowling Green.

“I am trying to get a workout into him,” Chatterpaul said. “It all depends on the weather. You cannot work too close to the race. I’ll see who is nominated for the Bowling Green before we make a decision.”

Chatterpaul said he was so impressed with the 7-year-old gelding’s back class of winning the Grade 1 Miguel Alfredo Martínez de Hoz on the grass going 2,000 meters, that he claimed him for $40,000 in a three-way shake on April 21, 2018.

After that claim, Chatterpaul was aggressive in Catcho En Die’s races by entering him in both the Grade 1 Man o’ War and Woodford Reserve Manhattan. But the Argentina-bred struggled and tired on those races. Chatterpaul didn’t give up and sent Catcho En Die to Arlington Park, where he won the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes and finished third in the Grade 1 Arlington Million following a tough trip.

“I always claim horses who I think have hope,” Chatterpaul said. “I claim older class horses and try to get them back right. He was a decent horse. He won on the dirt and turf. He was lightly raced. I thought I would take a shot. I’ve gotten lucky with this horse.”

Chatterpaul has previous success of claiming a horse with prior class and turning around to win Grade 1 races. Nine years ago, he claimed Mission Approved, who was already a graded stakes winner, for $35,000. A month after that claim, the New York-bred finished second in the Man o’ War, then won the Manhattan the following year.

“Nobody wanted Mission Approved,” Chatterpaul said. “People thought I was crazy. But when you win a Grade 1 race with a claiming horse, without having a $1 million-horse handed to you, it is one of the greatest feelings. It is amazing.”

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Lukas eyeing G1 Forego for Warrior’s Club

Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas has yet to reach the winners circle from five starters so far during the 2019 Saratoga meet but that hasn’t discouraged the legend, with 5-year-old graded stakes winner Warrior’s Club in his stable and eyeing his next start in the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego on Runhappy Travers Day, August 24.

“We’re getting off to a slow start which is easy to do here because the competition is so great,” said Lukas. “It just seems you come up here so optimistic and then when you look through the paddock the reality is you’re in very tough everyday but we have some young horses and a runner we know well in Warrior’s Club that may come around. We’ll stay optimistic and see if we can have a great finish here.”

Purchased for $47,000 as a 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders April Sale and owned by the Churchill Downs Racing Club, a partnership that began in 2016 consisting of two groups of 200 members with Lukas as the club’s first trainer, Warrior’s Club has given the group plenty of thrills with over $850,000 in earnings, including a graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland in April of 2018.

Warrior’s Club has a second-place finish in the Commonwealth this year along with graded stakes placings in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club as a 3-year-old, the Grade 2 Churchill Downs as a 4-year-old, the Grade 1 Vanderbilt last summer at Saratoga, and the Grade 2 John Nerud in his most recent start on July 6.

“Every time he runs he has to keep a lot of people happy,” said Lukas. “He carries a heavy load. He’s been an absolute perfect club horse if you want to call him that. When we started this, he was one of the initial purchases and we thought we bought a nice inexpensive horse that would give people some enjoyment. Next thing you know, we look up and we have ourselves a really nice horse. He’s been getting better so we’re thrilled that he can not only give them the exposure in racing, which we though was going to be at the lower level, but we’re giving them the exposure at the highest level.”

Beginning his campaign with a second-place finish in an allowance race at Oaklawn Park, Warrior’s Club followed up with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Commonwealth before a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs and a gutsy second-place finish in the John A. Nerud at Belmont.

“We’ll give him another shot here in the Forego,” said Lukas. “He’s danced a lot of dances if you look at his past performances, so I don’t think he’ll need a prep race going into the Forego. He knows what to do and he always gives his best so we’ll prepare him up into that race.”

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Sitting ‘Chilly’: Vera contemplating $100K Curlin or G2 Jim Dandy for improving colt

Newtown Anner Stud’s Chilly in Charge, a dark bay son of Take Charge Indy, is under consideration for either the $100,000 Curlin, slated for July 26 or the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 27 at the Spa, said trainer Miguel Vera.

Chilly in Charge was a romping 12-length winner of the restricted Crowd Pleaser on June 22 at Parx. The colt breezed five furlongs on the Monmouth Park main in 1:01 flat on Wednesday morning.

“We’re not sure which way he’ll go just yet. He breezed well today and we’ll see how he comes out of the work first and go from there,” said Vera. “He went in company this morning and did it very easily. I’m happy with how he worked and how he cooled out.

“I think we’re looking more likely at the Curlin, but you never know,” added Vera. “The horse keeps improving every day, so we’ll see who might be in there [the Jim Dandy] and maybe take a shot.”

Chilly in Charge debuted in January at Laurel in a key maiden race and returned in February at the Big A, finishing second to the recently stakes-placed Grumps Little Tots. He graduated on Woodbine’s Tapeta in May ahead of his stakes score, traveling 1 1/16-miles, which garnered a career-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure.

“The horse keeps improving with every race. He went to Canada and he broke his maiden nicely and then ran back in the stake for Pennsylvania-bred and he won very easily,” said Vera.

Vera said Chilly in Charge should appreciated the nine-furlong distance of his Saratoga targets.

“He’s very comfortable [going a distance of ground]. Last time out he won going a mile and a sixteenth and he won by 12 lengths and looked very comfortable at the distance,” said Vera. “He’s a big horse, about 16.4 hands and very muscled. He’s a very good-looking horse.”

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Rowayton to target $100K Curlin; OXO Equine babies nearing debut

OXO Equine’s [Larry Best] Rowayton, a multiple Grade 1-placed son of Into Mischief trained by Don Chatlos, will make his next start in the $100,000 Curlin on July 26.

The colt was multiple Grade 1-placed as a juvenile finishing second in the Del Mar Futurity and third in the American Pharoah at Santa Anita Park – both races won by Eclipse Award champion Two-Year-Old Game Winner.

“He was supposed to breeze this morning, but the rain set that back. He’ll breeze on Friday. The race for him is the Curlin and I only wanted one breeze in between for him,” said Chatlos.

Rowayton was an impressive allowance winner on June 6 at Belmont Park, rushing up the rail to victory in a 6 1/2-furlong test on Big Sandy that garnered a 97 Beyer. Last out, Rowayton endured a troubled trip when lacking racing room en route to a good third in the Grade 3 Dwyer, won by the returning Code of Honor.

“That trip is what won us the allowance race, but probably cost us second in the Dwyer,” said Chatlos. “I can’t take anything away from Code of Honor. He ran huge that day.”

Chatlos said that the nine-furlong Curlin will be used to assess whether the colt can stretch out to the 10-furlong distance of the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Travers or if a cut back to seven furlongs for the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy is more appropriate.

“I don’t think the distance is going to bother him, but until he does it, it’s only speculation,” said Chatlos. “The Curlin is the right race for him because the Jim Dandy has come up a banger. It’s going to be a tough race. The Curlin is restricted [to horses that have not won a graded race over a mile in 2019], so it may not make it easier, but it will make it easier than the Jim Dandy.

“We can judge from there if it’s the Travers or the Allen Jerkens next,” continued Chatlos. “We can always cut back to the seven furlongs if we think the mile and an eighth was too much for him.”

Chatlos said OXO Equine’s Grade 2 Best Pal winner Instagrand is back in training at Saratoga. The 3-year-old Into Mischief bay, who finished third in both the Grade 3 Gotham and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, had a chip removed from his left hind ankle following an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs.

“Instagrand got in here on Saturday. He’s just jogging right now. He wants to do more, but we’ll take our time and let him tell us when he’s ready,” said Chatlos. “We’ll let him get ready on his own and if that means Belmont fall meet, that’s fine.”

OXO Equine’s Cardiff Cay, a 3-year-old full brother to multiple graded-stakes winner Lochte, is working towards his debut. The 3-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt, out of Lemon Kiss, breezed four furlongs in 49.88 from the gate July 14 on the dirt training track.

“He was a nice 2-year-old last year, and had to get turned out for a while,” said Chatlos. “He will work on the grass on Sunday and see if turf is where he wants to go.”

Chatlos also has a quartet of OXO Equine 2-year-olds training towards their debut.

Forever Poe, formerly named Vegas Strong, was purchased for $850,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale. The Colonel John colt is likely to debut at Saratoga. “He will probably work here this week,” said Chatlos. “He had a shin that was bugging him and we didn’t want to press on him.”

Madison Parc, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-placed Brill, is by Curlin out of Hung the Moon. Purchased for $420,000 at Fasig-Tipton November, the well-related bay, bred in New York by Southern Equine Stables, breezed four furlongs on July 14 on the Saratoga dirt training track in 48.87 seconds.

“She’s a New York-bred and will be able to run in some of the restricted races,” said Chatlos. “Being by Curlin it’s surprising, but she’s quick. That’s what she shows.

“I was in Florida for the Sunshine Millions [in 2007] when all the talk of the backside was this horse Curlin,” recalled Chatlos. “He was a maiden and hadn’t run yet. I got to see him work and when I got back to California, I was telling everybody they had to see this horse run the next Saturday in a maiden race. He won by open lengths [12 3/4-lengths]. These Curlins, they can be flashy like that.”

Chatlos said the promising Madison Parc is about three weeks away from a debut.

“She’ll work out of the gate on Sunday on the main track and we’ll see,” said Chatlos.

Mundaye Call, purchased for $950,000 at the Fasig-Tipton August Sale, breezed four furlongs in 49.98 on July 14 on the Oklahoma training track.

“She’s an Into Mischief and a really nice filly. Jose Ortiz worked her the same day as Madison Parc and she went a little slower, 49 and change. He let her gallop out faster than she worked,” said Chatlos. “He was just getting a feel for her. He’ll work her out of the gate on Sunday.”

Mundaye Call is a Kentucky-bred and on the same track as Madison Parc. “It’s good the other filly is New York-bred so they won’t run into each other in the maiden races as they’ll be ready around the same time,” said Chatlos.

Snap Chap, by Into Mischief, is on the grounds at Saratoga. The $1.2 million purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale is out of the Distorted Humor mare Gaudete, who is a half-sister to two stakes winners including Munnings.

“We have Instagrand, which is a play on Instagram, and this one is named Snap Chap,” said Chatlos. “He looks the part for sure. He’s a ways away from a work, but he’s a nice looking horse.”

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International stakes winners Thanks Be, Ya Primo join Chad Brown’s barn

The already strong turf contingent for trainer Chad Brown just got even better with two international acquisitions managed by BSW Bloodstock’s Bradley Weisbord. Ya Primo, a multiple Group 1 winner in his native Chile, will look to make a big splash in his United States debut for Brown in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green on Saturday, July 27.

The 4-year-old Mastercraftsman bay has not raced since scoring in the Group 1 GP Latinoamericano which came after a win in the Group 1 El Derby.

The horse was acquired by Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stable and Wonder Stables, and is managed by Weisbord.

Ya Primo has worked alongside Brown’s Saratoga contingent since May, most recently posting a five-furlong work over the Oklahoma turf course in 1:02.02 in company with graded stakes winning stablemate Olympico, who also is targeting the Bowling Green.

“He’s won his last three down there and we’re very high on him,” said Weisbord. “He’s shown lots in his works. We think he’s a Grade 1 caliber horse for America. Chad has done a great job with South American horses and we expect him to run well.”

Brown has done well with acquisitions from South America having scored Grade 1 wins with Chilean-breds Robert Bruce, Dacita and Wow Cat.

Other known possible entrants for the Bowling Green include Hunter O’Riley, Highland Sky, Argonne, Sadler’s Joy, Catcho En Die and Channel Maker.

Weisbord purchased Thanks Be, winner of the Sandringham at Royal Ascot last month, for Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Wonder Stables.

The 3-year-old daughter of Mukhadram bested a field of 26 others in the one mile Sandringham, which was won by American-based Con Te Partiro in 2017.

“I really respect the Sandringham – that race obviously was won by Con Te Partiro who had a great career in the States,” Weisbord said.

Weisbord mentioned the $100,000 Riskaverse on August 22 and the $150,000 Virginia Oaks on August 31 at Colonial Downs as a possible North American debut for Thanks Be.

“The Riskaverse is in five weeks and she would fit there. It’s the same distance she won at Royal Ascot,” Weisbord said. “The Virginia Oaks is a week later. This will give us a chance to breeze two or three times. We’ll just be patient listen to our trainer and hope for best.”

Thanks Be won the Sandringham at 33-1 odds, which was her first career victory in five starts. Bred in Great Britain by Deveron Limited, she is out of the Sadler’s Wells broodmare Out of Thanks.

*         *         *

Sadler’s Joy set to make comeback in G2 Bowling Green

Woodslane Farm’s homebred Sadler’s Joy was third beaten a half-length in both of his prior efforts in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green and will attempt to make third times the charm when he makes his first start of the year in the 1 3/8-mile event next Saturday.

Trained by Tom Albertrani the 6-year-old Kitten’s Joy chestnut has not raced since finishing a distant third in the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Turf at Churchill Downs to world champion Enable and Group 1-winner Magical.

“He’s doing really well,” Albertrani said. “We planned on giving him a little break after the Breeders’ Cup and try to get him back for the Manhattan but we had a couple of minor hiccups along the way, but he’s doing really well right now. He worked really well yesterday, so we should be good to go for the Bowling Green.”

Sadler’s Joy was a narrow second to Spring Quality in last year’s Manhattan and finished third in the 2017 edition of the race. His only Grade 1 victory took place in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational two years ago where he registered a career best 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

Albertrani was not concerned with the hiatus. His last win took place in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park, which came off of a four-month layoff.

“He runs well off the layoff, this is a bit of a longer layoff than he’s had, but he does run well off the shorter layoffs,” Albertrani said.

Sadler’s Joy is out of the Dynaformer broodmare Dynaire who also produced stablemate Dyna Passer.

Speaking of which, Albertrani gave an update on Sadler’s Joy’s half-sister, who recently was fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational- the first leg of the newly minted Turf Tiara.

Dyna Passer, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, entered the Belmont Oaks off a sharp maiden victory going 1 3/8 miles over the Belmont Park inner turf. She will likely take a drop in class and face allowance company at Saratoga in preparation for the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks; which is the final leg of the Turf Tiara.

“She’s done really well. What I would like to do with her is bring her back in a non-winners of two just to see if we can get a win under her belt at Saratoga,” Albertrani said. “If she runs really well, we’ll come back in the third leg of the [Turf] Tiara. I thought she ran really well in the first one. I thought we could’ve been a little closer. She got further back than I would have liked, but I was pleased with her run so hopefully we can get a confidence booster here and go on to the next race.”

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Saratoga Week 3 stakes probables

Wednesday, July 24: 

$200,000 Honorable Miss 

Probable: Chalon (Arnaud Delacour); Dawn the Destroyer (Kiaran McLaughlin); Honey Bunny (John Alexander Ortiz); Mia Mischief (Steve Asmussen); Ours to Run (Larry Jones); Pacific Gale (John Kimmel)

$150,000 New York Stallion Series Cab Calloway

Probable: Albie (Michael Dilger); Dashing Dan (Dilger); Rinaldi (Jimmy Bond); Six Percent (Brad Cox)

Thursday, July 25: 

$100,000 John Morrissey

Probable: Build to Suit (Chad Brown); Celtic Chaos (Cox); Eye Luv Lulu (Jason Servis); Gold for the King (Charlie Baker)

Friday, July 26:

Grade 3, $100,000 Curlin

Probable: Cairo Cat (Kenny McPeek); Endorsed (McLaughlin); Grumps Little Tots (Servis); Highest Honors (Brown), Looking At Bikinis (Brown), Rowayton (Chatlos)

Possible: Feel Glorious (Clement); Hotsy Totsy (Clement); Panther Hit (Tom Albertrani);

Saturday, July 27: 

Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green

Probable: Admission Office (Brian Lynch); Argonne (Bond); Bigger Picture (Mike Maker); Focus Group (Brown); Highland Sky (Barclay Tagg); Hunter O’Riley (Jimmy Toner); Olympico (Brown); Sadler’s Joy (Tom Albertrani); Ya Primo (Brown); Zulu Alpha (Maker)

Grade 2 $600,000 Jim Dandy presented by NYRA Bets

Probable: Global Campaign (Stanley Hough); Highest Honors (Brown); Laughing Fox (Asmussen); Tacitus (Bill Mott); Tax (Danny Gargan) War of Will (Mark Casse)

Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt

Probable: Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone); Firenze Fire (Servis); Mitole (Asmussen); Mr. Crow (Ben Colebrook); Strike Power (Mark Hennig)

Possible: Heartwood (James Chapman); Imperial Hint (Luis Carvajal, Jr.); Recruiting Ready (Hough); Sweetontheladies (Henry Collazo)

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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