Brown’s fillies top field for P. G. Johnson
By Jessica Tugwell | 08/26/2013 04:18 PM ET
La Reine Bourbon
A pair of promising 2-year-old fillies from trainer Chad Brown top a field of seven scheduled to compete at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on Wednesday in the $100,000 P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Granny Mc's Kitten, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, was beaten by a nose in her only start after breaking slow and being forced to go wide. La Reine Bourbon, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, won her August 4 debut by 2 1/4 lengths. Both were at the P. G. Johnson distance.
"When you debut horses going a route of ground, you would think if you give them enough time after they debut they'd move forward in start number two," Brown said. "I think a lot of people are probably thinking that in this race. These are lightly raced horses, and everyone's looking for that forward move."
Todd Pletcher sends out Starlight Racing's Candy Kitty, who broke her maiden in her third career start on August 18. Leaving from post position 10, Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez guided the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid to an uncontested lead and set a dawdling pace en route to a 2 ¼-length victory.
"We feel like we kind of got away with one there from the outside post," said Pletcher of Candy Kitty, 7-2 on the morning line. "Also, because of the slow first half, we felt like it gave us the opportunity to consider running her back on relatively short rest."
Expected to receive support is the Tom Albertrani-trained Miss Frost, owned by Dogwood Stables. In her second lifetime start and turf debut, she tracked the pace and emerged victorious over the late-running Granny Mc's Kitten. She adds Lasix for this start.
Richard Violette's Chase My Tail will be trying the turf for the first time, as well as stretching out to a route. On July 25, she broke her maiden in a 5 ½- furlong maiden $75,000 claiming race at Saratoga. She has two published turf workouts coming into the race.
Duff One notched her first win last time out in a seven-furlong off-the-turf maiden special weight at Saratoga Race Course. Prominently placed throughout, she was erratic through the lane but nevertheless prevailed in a head-bobbing finish. Gary Contessa trains the daughter of Harlan's Holiday for Lee Pokoik.
Rounding out the field is Wesley Ward's La Mejor Fiesta, the only horse in the field with stakes experience. She won at first asking in a five-furlong turf event at Churchill Downs on June 13, then finished second in the Tippet Stakes at Colonial Downs after rallying four wide.
True Blue Nation is entered as a Main Track Only runner.
The field for the $100,000 P.G. Johnson: