Sweet Reason seeks another Grade 1 in Frizette
By Jon Forbes | 10/02/2013 05:54 PM ET
Sweet Reason, a dominant winner of Saratoga Race Course’s Spinaway, will attempt to land another Grade 1 when she faces a competitive field of 2-year-old fillies in the $500,000 Frizette on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The one-mile Frizette is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race in the Juvenile Fillies Division and is one of three Grade 1 races on Saturday’s card.
In her debut, Sweet Reason made up an 18-length deficit by rallying from eighth to take an off-the-turf maiden special weight by 6 ¼ lengths in August. She showed more speed in the Spinaway, racing 3 ¾ lengths behind the leader at the first call in seventh before swooping to the lead en route to a 5 ¾-length romp.
Both the 5 ½-furlong maiden race and seven-furlong Spinaway, trainer Leah Gyarmati’s first graded stakes win, were contested in the slop.
“She’s training really well. She has been training over a fast track,” said Gyarmati. “Obviously, you don’t know what she’ll do in the afternoon. I hope she does the same. I feel really good about it.”
Gyarmati praised Sweet Reason for her mental maturity.
“I love her running style,” said Gyarmati. “I love a horse who sits back like that. It’s so much easier on them, and you’re not at the mercy of what everyone else is doing. She is so laid back; nothing bothers this filly.”
Alex Solis once again will ride Sweet Reason, the 8-5 morning-line favorite who drew the rail, in the Frizette.
Mike Repole’s Stopchargingmaria, runner-up in the Spinaway, will have another crack at Sweet Reason in the Frizette. In the Spinaway, Stopchargingmaria raced just off the pace early and couldn’t keep up with Sweet Reason late. Stopchargingmaria was 4 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Dancing House.
In her only other start, Stopchargingmaria led from gate to wire to debut a 5 ½-length winner in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight in July at Saratoga.
“She’s the kind that has a good mindset and you can do whatever you want with,” said Pletcher. “We felt like there was a lot of speed in the Spinaway, so we opted to let her settle. If we need her to be on the lead, she’s that type. We’ll survey the field and our post position. Sweet Reason has been very impressive. I think the question is, is she as good on a fast track? It looks like we’re going to get a chance to find out.”
Stopchargingmaria, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, will depart from post 4 with Javier Castellano aboard.
The field includes four fillies who are coming off maiden wins: Artemis Agrotera, Recepta, Divided Attention, and Tea Time.
Artemis Agrotera, a Chester and Mary Broman homebred, registered a 11 ¾-length triumph against New York-breds in her only start to date, a six-furlong maiden special weight in August at Saratoga. She was never asked for her best that day by jockey Joel Rosario, who will be replaced by Jose Lezcano on Saturday.
“She had trained well going into the maiden race and I liked her going into the race,” said trainer Mike Hushion. “The race seems to have turned her around and made her even better. She’s worked big numbers since. Her half-mile work [46.23 on September 14], she galloped out in :58 and change. Since then, it’s been, ‘Game on!’”
On Sunday, Artemis Agrotera added a five-furlong breeze over Belmont’s training track in 1:00.74. She drew post 2 and was installed at 6-1 on the morning line.
Recepta, like Sweet Reason, has never raced on a fast track. She has made one start, coming from midpack to take a seven-furlong race by 4 ½ lengths in the slop on September 1 at Saratoga.
Although Recepta is a half-sister to Grade 3-winning sprinter Taqarub and is out of a winning half-sister to Grade 1-winning turf runners Plenty of Grace and Soaring Softly, trainer Jimmy Toner believes Recepta will do her best running in route races on the dirt, which is why he opted to run her in the one-mile Frizette instead of the Grade 2, six-furlong Matron, which was won on Saturday by Miss Behaviour.
“Why cut back? She’s bred to go longer,” said Toner of Recepta, owned by the Phillips Racing Partnership and Pam Gartin. “Speightstowns can go either way, and there’s a lot of stamina in her family. She has good lung capacity and I knew when I started her at seven furlongs that she’d be going long.”
Recepta, 5-1, will be ridden by Junior Alvarado from post 7.
Darley Stable’s Divided Attention, a half-sister to 2005 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Folklore, will be making her third start in the Frizette. After finishing fifth going 5 ½ furlongs in August at the Spa, she returned to graduate by 1 ¾ lengths in a one-mile race on September 12 at Belmont.
“It’s a tough spot, but she is bred to get the mile,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “She got the mile last time, so we’re happy to try a Grade 1. There aren’t a lot of other options. She ran well when she broke her maiden, so, hopefully, she fits. We’ll see how we do.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes over aboard Divided Attention, who drew post 6 and was tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line.
Tea Time, trained by Michael Matz for Helen K. Groves and Jon S. and Sarah Kelly, also debuted at Saratoga before breaking her maiden at Belmont. She was third in a 5 ½-furlong race on August 11 at the Spa and is stretching out in distance off a 3 ¼-length score in a six-furlong race on September 15 at Belmont.
Luis Saez has the call aboard 6-1 Tea Time, who will leave from post 3.
Completing the field is Ria Antonia, who aired by six lengths in her second start at Woodbine in July and was fourth in that venue’s Swynford on August 24. Both starts came against males. She will be racing for owner Looch Racing Stable and trainer Jeremiah Englehart for the first time in the Frizette.
The field for the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette: