Tabreed steps up, stretches out in Long Island 'Cap
By Jon Forbes | 11/06/2013 04:45 PM ET
Stretch-running Tabreed, an impressive allowance winner in October, will make her graded stakes debut in the Grade 3, $200,000 Long Island Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Long Island, a 1 ½-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will serve as the third leg of the $250,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4, which will be offered every Saturday at Aqueduct during the fall meet.
Tabreed, a daughter of Sakhee, began her career in France, winning a maiden race in her fourth and final start in that country before she was purchased by China Horse Club and sent to trainer Christophe Clement in the United States. Since her arrival in the U.S., she has won two of six starts, both at 1 1/8 miles.
In June, Tabreed, a 4-year-old, cleared the first allowance condition with a 2 ½-length victory at Monmouth Park, then was third in both an optional claimer in July at Saratoga and the Omnibus back at Monmouth in August.
In her most recent start, Tabreed broke slowly before rallying from 12th and last and erasing a 12-length deficit to take a second-level allowance race by four widening lengths on October 16 at Keeneland Race Course.
Tabreed's longest start to date came in the Omnibus, contested at approximately 1 3/8 miles.
"We'll try to stretch her and see what happens," said Christophe Lorieul, assistant to Clement. "The filly, mentally, is very relaxed. Last time at Keeneland she was at the back and made one run. She's no problem to rate, so we think a mile and a half won't be a problem."
Junior Alvarado will ride Tabreed, 6-1 on the morning line, from post 4.
Tabreed is one of two entrants for the Clement stable, the other being Aigue Marine, who was third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the 2012 Long Island, her North American debut. She has made two starts since then, winning an optional claimer by four lengths and finishing seventh as the favorite in the Grade 3 Orchid. Both starts came in March at Gulfstream Park.
"She's fresh, coming back off her layoff, but she is doing well," said Lorieul. "Aigue Marine was third in this race last year, so we'll try again."
A 4-year-old Galileo filly owned by Haras du Mezeray and Skymarc Farm, Aigue Marine will depart from post 3 under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
The 5-2 morning-line favorite is Anjaz, a 4-year-old daughter of $10.5 million broodmare Playful Act, who seeks her first victory in the United States.
Fourth in the Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream Park in her U.S. debut, she missed by one length when second to Tannery in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May at Belmont. Following a seventh in Belmont's Grade 2 New York in June, she rebounded to be runner-up once again, this time by 1 ¾ lengths, in the Waya on August 5 at Saratoga.
Trained by Tom Albetrani for Godolphin Racing, Anjaz will leave from post 2 with Javier Castellano in the irons.
The lone graded stakes winner in the field is Andrew Stone's Strathnaver, a 4-year-old English import trained by H. Graham Motion. She has captured three of five starts in the United States, including the Grade 3 Bewitch, contested at the Long Island's 1 ½-mile distance in April at Keeneland. Following a seventh in the Sheepshead Bay and an eighth in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap in July at Arlington Park, she regained her winning form when she got up late to take the Lady Baltimore by a head on September 21 at Laurel Park.
Rajiv Maragh has picked up the mount aboard Strathnaver, who drew post 6 and was installed as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.
Motion also entered Inimitable Romanee, who has faced New York-breds in her past seven starts. She was seventh in the Ticonderoga on October 19 at Belmont most recently.
Completing the field are Left a Message, who won the Flaming Page in August at Woodbine and enters the Long Island off a second in the 1 ½-mile Dowager in October at Keeneland; White Rose, second in an off-the-turf edition of the Glens Falls and seventh in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational in September; and Sheppard's Pie, sixth in the Dowager.
The field for the Grade 3, $200,000 Long Island Handicap: