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Aug 5, 2022
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Alydar-winner Art Collector targets G2 Charles Town Classic; Olympiad streaks into G1 Whitney

by NYRA Press Office



  • Alydar-winner Art Collector targets G2 Charles Town Classic; Olympiad streaks into G1 Whitney
  • Charge It breezes for G1 Runhappy Travers; Nest works for likely engagement in G1 Alabama
  • Thomas trainees Empress Tigress, Benbang eye $150K Galway
  • Alluring Angel and Lachaise impressive in debuts; Runaway Rumour targeting Yaddo; Venti Valentine to Fleet Indian
  • Bauer celebrates two-win day on Thursday with Played Hard, One More Baby
  • Rookie Report: Pletcher to unleash promising juveniles on Whitney weekend

Bruce Lunsford's Kentucky homebred Art Collector returned from a five-month layoff in style, garnering a 101 Beyer Speed Figure while defending his title in the $135,000 Alydar at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 5-year-old Bernardini horse entered the restricted nine-furlong test for older horses from an off-the-board effort over a tiring track in the Group 1 Saudi Cup on February 26 at King Abdulaziz Race Course. 

Luis Saez guided Art Collector to the point from post 4 and maintained a moderate tempo through three-quarters in 1:13.77 with Masqueparade on his flank. Art Collector was travelling comfortably through the turn and opened up a 2 1/2-length advantage at the stretch call, finding the wire in hand for a two-length score in a final time of 1:51.84.

Mott said he was pleased with the return to form by Art Collector, who ended his 2021 campaign with a sixth-place effort in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Del Mar.

"The last two weren't his best races, so it was nice to see him come back," Mott said. "He looked great this morning."

Art Collector will now look for another title defense on August 26 in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, a race he won last year by 1 1/2-lengths with a prominent effort.

"We'll go to Charles Town next," Mott said. "One race at a time. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves."

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods' Olympiad brings a five-race win streak - the last four in graded events - into Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Whitney, a nine-furlong test for older horses offering a "Win and You're In" berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.

The 4-year-old Speightstown colt will square off against Life Is Good, last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile champ, for the first time. Olympiad has tracked in second and drew off in each of last five wins and Mott said he is looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.

"Every race and every situation is new and different. You can never compare two races - they're never identical. That's the interesting thing about horse racing," Mott said. "We're facing a horse called Life Is Good which is a good horse. He's accomplished and very fast, we know that. It's a matter of who is going to be the best when they come down to the wire."

The Mott-trained Speaker's Corner, winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April at Aqueduct Racetrack, finished second to Life Is Good last out in the Grade 2 John A. Nerud in July at Belmont on the heels of a third-place finish to the undefeated Flightline in the Grade 1 Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan Handicap in June. 

Mott said he is relishing a chance to see Olympiad take on some of the top older horses in the country on Saturday, including Life Is Good and Grade 1-winner Hot Rod Charlie. Saturday's challenge will mark Olympiad's second foray in a Grade 1 following his fourth-place finish to Whitney-rival Americanrevolution in the Cigar Mile Handicap in December at the Big A.

"You never know how good you are until you try the best, so I guess it's time to step up to the plate. He's 5-for-5 this year and we've got to take them on," Mott said. "Everybody is talking about Life Is Good and Flightline and they're great horses, but the only way we can reverse that conversation and get included in that conversation is by running against them."

Olympiad will exit post 4 in the Whitney under regular pilot Junior Alvarado.

Mott will saddle George Krikorian's War Like Goddess and Juddmonte Farm's British homebred Petricor in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls, a 12-furlong inner turf test for older fillies and mares.

War Like Goddess, a 5-year-old English Channel mare, was a decisive winner of this event last year with a trademark last-to-first brush. She attended closer to the pace last out in the 12-furlong Grade 3 Bewitch on April 29 at Keeneland in which Breeze Rider loped through splits of 53.77 and 1:19.88 before Joel Rosario gave War Like Goddess her cue and split rivals at the eighth pole en route to a 1 3/4-length score.

"She's fast. When she turns it on turning for home she's got a good turn of foot and that's what it takes to be a good turf horse," Mott said. "You have to be able to sprint for three-sixteenths of a mile or a quarter of a mile and she's shown the ability to do that. An honest pace will always help but she's adapted. Keeneland was probably the slowest pace I've ever seen in a graded stakes race and she was able to overcome that."

Petricor launched her career in France with trainer Andre Fabre, graduating in her August 2020 debut at Deauville before running a close second in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux in April 2021 at Longchamp. She made a winning debut for Mott in April traveling 1 1/16-miles in a Keeneland allowance but was off-the-board in her most recent two starts, while traveling well late on.

"We've tried to run her at shorter distances which hasn't worked out, and I think we just felt it was time to try her at this distance and see where she fits in," Mott said. "She's a nice filly and she should be a contender in the race."

Petricor, a 4-year-old daughter of Frankel, is out of the Dansili mare Ruscombe, who is a half-sister to Brian Boru, who won the 2003 Group 1 St. Leger at Doncaster; and Sea Moon, a multiple Group 2 winner.

War Like Goddess will leave post 6 in rein to Rosario, while Jose Ortiz picks up the mount on Petricor from post 3.

LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable's Casa Creed, winner of the Grade 1 Jaipur last out on June 11 at Belmont, will breeze Sunday over the Oklahoma training turf in preparation for his third attempt in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave on August 13 which offers a "Win and You're In" berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile in November at Keeneland. The 6-year-old Jimmy Creed bay finished third in both 2020-21.

***

Charge It breezes for G1 Runhappy Travers; Nest works for likely engagement in G1 Alabama

Whisper Hill Farm’s homebred Charge It took another step forward for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers with a half-mile breeze Friday at Saratoga Race Course. 

The graded stakes-winning son of Tapit was amongst the first horses to greet the Saratoga main track and completed his four-furlong move in 48.77 seconds under exercise rider Hector Ramos. 

The work was Charge It’s second serious work since an emphatic 23-length romp in the Grade 3 Dwyer on July 2 over a fast main track at Belmont Park for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. 

“He went really well, five-eighths by himself in 1:01 and change. He had a super strong gallop out, pulled up the mile in 1:42,” Pletcher said. “Essentially, we’re trying to follow the same program we did leading up to the Dwyer and he seems to be doing everything the right way.”

A distant 17th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby two starts back, Charge It will stretch back out to two turns for the August 27 Runhappy Travers, where he will likely face as many as four Kentucky Derby alumni. Prior to the Run for the Roses, he was a game second to White Abarrio in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in April at Gulfstream Park. 

“He gives me every impression that two turns and a mile and a quarter is right within his wheelhouse,” Pletcher said. 

Hailing from the influential bloodlines of 2014 Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, who was a Grade 1-winner in her own right, Charge It is out of the Indian Charlie mare I’ll Take Charge – a half-sister to Grade 1-winner Take Charge Indy and champion Will Take Charge. Other prominent members of the family include 2014 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Take Charge Brandi, multiple Grade 1-winner Omaha Beach and Grade 1-winning mare As Time Goes By. 

Later that morning, Pletcher sent Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest to work in company with Shadwell Stables’ Malathaat for a half-mile breeze at 8:45 a.m. 

Piloted by exercise rider Amelia Green, Nest worked to the outside of the John Velazquez-piloted Malathaat, completing a half-mile work in 49.78 seconds over the main track. 

The move was Nest’s first breeze since capturing the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23 at the Spa. 

Nest, a dual Grade 1 winner who captured the Ashland at Keeneland before finishing second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, is on target for the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on August 20 at Saratoga. But Pletcher said the current leader of the sophomore filly division is still possible for the Runhappy Travers. 

“She worked well this morning and we’re targeting the Alabama at the moment,” Pletcher said. “We haven’t ruled anything out yet but right now we’re leaning towards the Alabama.”

Through a productive 8-5-2-1 record, Nest has amassed earnings of $1,405,550. She is a full-sister to Idol, a Grade 1-winner going ten furlongs, and a half to Lost Ark, a juvenile who won his debut by 5 1/2 lengths last month at Belmont. 

Malathaat, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and the reigning Champion 3-Year-Old Filly, finished second last out in the Grade 2 Shuvee on July 24 at Saratoga.

Pletcher added that no decision has been made yet regarding Grade 1 winner Americanrevolution, who is one of three Pletcher-trained entrants in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Whitney. The connections indicated that the son of Constitution could scratch out of the race depending on weather. 

“We won’t decide until tomorrow. We’ll just see what the weather does with the track conditions,” Pletcher said.

***

Thomas trainees Empress Tigress, Benbang eye $150K Galway

Trainer Jonathan Thomas will have a strong hand in the $150,000 Galway should he decide to send his two stakes-winning turf sprinters, Empress Tigress and Benbang, to the 5 1/2-furlong test for sophomore fillies on August 11 at Saratoga Race Course. 

Augustin Stable’s Empress Tigress, a chestnut daughter of Classic Empire, has been perfect through two starts for Thomas with a debut maiden score in May over synthetic at Woodbine and a last out stakes triumph in the 5 1/2-furlong Coronation Cup on July 15 at the Spa. There, she dueled for the lead with Mystic Eyes before taking command at the stretch call and fending off a late bid from Poppy Flower to hold onto a half-length victory under Hall of Famer John Velazquez. 

“She’s always trained like she’s a talented filly and obviously it’s great seeing it replicated in the afternoon,” said Thomas. “She’s an exciting little filly and we were thrilled.” 

Empress Tigress had her first work since her stakes coup on Friday, breezing a half-mile in 50.24 seconds over the Oklahoma turf. Thomas said he was pleased with the effort and will give some thought to the Galway. 

“It went good. She went 50 the right way and finished up nicely. It looks like she’s cooling out well. She’s always been pretty generous breezing,” Thomas said. “We’ll take a peek at the Galway. It’s back a little quick, so I’m not really adamant we’re going to run, but we’ll keep an eye on it.” 

Thomas added it has been rewarding to see patience pay off with the late-blooming filly, who was purchased for $410,000 out of the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training last year. 

“She had some physical issues out of the 2-year-old sale, but she’s got great owners and they were very patient,” Thomas said. “She’s a prime example of taking your time and having it work. She’s always been organically fast and genuine in her training. Time will tell as we progress through the ranks where her ceiling is, but she’s been very easy to train.” 

Just one day after Empress Tigress took the Coronation Cup, Thomas enjoyed another stakes victory with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Benbang, who scratched from the Coronation Cup to make a successful run in the Blue Sparkler at Monmouth Park. 

The daughter of Shanghai Bobby was a debut winner at the Spa in an off-the-turf maiden last July before subsequently trying turf two starts later with a close fourth in the six-furlong Stewart Manor in November at Belmont Park. She returned in May to post a game runner-up finish in a first-level allowance at Monmouth Park en route to a win at the same condition and her Blue Sparkler victory. 

Thomas said Benbang could be possible for the Galway as well. 

“She’s a cool filly,” said Thomas. “She was kind of discounted at various stages of her life and was bought for $4,000 as a weanling, but she broke her maiden up here and is a stakes winner. I love those kinds of fillies.” 

Another promising turf filly in Thomas’ barn is the juvenile Delight, a bay daughter of Mendelssohn who is entered to make her second start on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course in Race 6, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight over the inner turf. 

Out of the unraced Medaglia d’Oro mare Honey Trap, Delight’s third dam is Grade 1-winner Pacific Squall. She was purchased for $400,000 at this year’s OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and finished third in her 5 1/2-furlong debut on April 29 at Keeneland. 

“I like the little 2-year-old we’re running Sunday. She’s a neat-training filly,” Thomas said. “We have some later developing 2-year-olds, so we’ll see.” 

Delight’s most recent work was a half-mile drill from the gate in 50.03 seconds over the main track on July 31. 

***

Alluring Angel and Lachaise impressive in debuts; Runaway Rumour targeting Yaddo; Venti Valentine eyes Fleet Indian

Lawrence Goichman’s homebred Alluring Angel raised eyebrows at Saratoga Race Course Thursday when closing from 8-of-9 and 8 1/2-lengths back to win a maiden special weight turf sprint event for juvenile fillies under the meet’s leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. for trainer Jorge Abreu.

Forced six wide down the lane, Alluring Angel kicked into gear and scored by a half-length over the Wesley Ward-trained and betting favorite Cowichan. The win came as a pleasant surprise for Abreu, who thought she might have needed a little more time before making a trip to the winner’s circle.

“She always trained like a horse that would need a race or a couple more breezes, but she proved different,” said Abreu. 

Abreu gave credit to the three-time Saratoga meet winning jockey aboard for helping the daughter of Fastnet Rock get the job done. 

“I think that was the key, having him on her back. I think he’s the one that got her to the wire,” said Abreu. “She kind of broke with him but took herself back.”

Abreu said Alluring Angel, who recorded a 65 Beyer Speed Figure in victory, will likely target a sprint stake next. 

Alluring Angel had been working with another horse for the duo of Goichman/Abreu in Lachaise, who brought her connections right back to the Saratoga winner’s circle again Thursday. 

Traveling 1 1/16-miles on firm turf, the New York-homebred ridgling by Oscar Performance was sent off as the betting favorite and stalked the leaders under Flavien Prat before pouncing in the stretch to win by 1 1/4-lengths in a maiden special weight event for state-bred juveniles. The victory garnered a 61 Beyer.

“I was a little more into Lachaise because he’s been breezing really, really well,” said Abreu. “Flavien worked him out of the gate the other day and liked the horse and I liked the breeze.”

A half-brother to multiple graded-stakes placed Runaway Rumour and multiple stakes-winner Myhartblongstodady, both of whom Abreu was assigned training responsibilities for, Lachaise has big shoes to fill in the family tree. 

Abreu says he sees some similarities in how the offspring of Elusive Rumour, by Elusive Quality, train. 

“Lachaise and Runaway Rumour kind of look the same when training,” said Abreu. “Myhartblongstodady had a mind of her own.” 

The two juveniles were training together for some time and it was just a matter of waiting for the right race to be carded. 

“I told Mr. Larry [Goichman] when the second [condition] book came out, I said, ‘look we just need to wait because they’re not ready,’ so I had to breeze them from the gate twice back-to-back,” said Abreu. 

Both horses exited their races in good order and looked healthy today according to Abreu. A next race for Lachaise is yet to be determined.

Runaway Rumour, last seen finishing an even fourth in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial on July 12 at Parx Racing, breezed a half-mile over the Oklahoma dirt training track Friday in 49.55 seconds. 

Abreu will look for some class relief for the daughter of Flintshire and target the $200,000 Yaddo Handicap, a New York-bred stake for fillies and mares, 3-and-up going 1 1/16-miles over Saratoga Race Course’s turf course on New York Showcase Day August 26.

“I breezed her on the turf last week. I wanted to give her a long [five-eighths] breeze and I didn’t want to do it on the dirt,” said Abreu. “I went a half-mile this morning and I’m pretty pleased with her.”

Second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid last summer at Saratoga, the Yaddo may provide Runaway Rumour with a good opportunity to get back to her winning ways. 

“I think a little class relief [will help]. She’s done very well here in the past,” said Abreu. 

Goichman’s New York-homebred has a lifetime record of 12-3-2-1 with $279,530 in the bank.

Also expected to return to the races on New York Showcase Day is NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes-placed Venti Valentine. The daughter of Firing Line enters from off-the-board finishes in the Grade 2 Mother Goose at Belmont Park in June and the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in May. 

Abreu said he plans to work Venti Valentine Saturday, weather permitting, to gear up for the $200,000 Fleet Indian, a race restricted to state-bred sophomore fillies and run at 1 1/8-miles on Saratoga Race Course’s dirt track August 26.

In addition to being graded stakes-placed as a juvenile and sophomore, Venti Valentine is a two-time overnight stakes winner. First as a juvenile in the Maid of the Mist at Belmont Park in October and then the Busher Invitational at Aqueduct Racetrack in March. 

A winner of $443,750, Venti Valentine has a 7-3-2-0 lifetime record.

***

Bauer celebrates two-win day on Thursday with Played Hard, One More Baby

Trainer Phil Bauer has only started three horses at the Saratoga Race Course this meeting, but has visited the winner’s circle twice after his trainees Played Hard and One More Baby scored in Thursday’s third and fifth races, respectively, at the Spa. 

“That was a fun day. It’s very rare to win a race at Saratoga, let alone two, so we were excited,” said Bauer. “My wife and kids were up here and the owner was here, so it was a great celebration. It was special and a day that we’ll never forget.” 

Owned by Rigney Racing, Played Hard boasts a record of 11-5-3-1 that includes a Grade 3-placing when a pacesetting second to Bees and Honey in Aqueduct’s Comley in November, which came one start after finishing a neck behind multiple graded stakes-winner Crazy Beautiful in the Seneca at Churchill Downs.

The 4-year-old Into Mischief filly gave her all to persevere to victory in her Thursday effort, tracking in second under Tyler Gaffalione throughout the one-mile second-level allowance and dueling down the stretch with Boston Post Road to get her nose down just in time in a thrilling finish. 

“She loves being a racehorse,” Bauer said. “It’s funny because she’s so laid back in the paddock and in the afternoons, but in the morning, she’s almost too much business and is sometimes difficult to gallop. But she’s a nice filly to say the least.”

Bauer said Played Hard will likely make the step up to stakes company again in her next outing. 

“She’s destined to be a broodmare for Rigney Racing, so hopefully we can get a stakes win at some point. Every time you win a race it’s great, but it gets tougher as you lose those conditions,” said Bauer. “We’ll find her a spot. I think it’s key for this filly to win a few in a row and I like how she rated yesterday and punched hard."

Bauer said he will consider the $135,000 Summer Colony on August 19 at the Spa but that it may come up a bit too soon. 

The celebrations continued for Bauer and his team just two races later when Rigney Racing’s homebred One More Baby graduated in his 10th start by a visually-impressive 10 3/4 lengths in a nine-furlong $20,000 maiden claiming event for 3-year-olds and up. 

The gelded son of Cairo Prince ran a similar race to Played Hard and stalked the pace in second before unleashing a devastating turn of foot and widening his margins down the lane under Luis Saez. 

“We certainly didn’t see that coming. He was training great here – he shipped up here and kind of got a new lease on life,” Bauer said. “He had really diving into the feed tub and we knew he was ready. On paper, it looked like he could win, but if you told me he was going to win by 10, I would have called you crazy.” 

Unfortunately for Bauer, One More Baby was haltered out of the effort by trainer Jose D’Angelo for owner Our Blue Streaks Stable, but the 37-year-old conditioner took it all in stride. 

“It’s always bittersweet when you lose them in the claim box, but I think if people are claiming your horses, they’re in the right spot,” Bauer said. “That’s the key to winning races. We’ll keep our eye on him and keep track of him.” 

Played Hard and One More Baby worked as a pair on July 23 over the main track, with the former completing the five-furlong exercise in 59 seconds flat and the latter in 1:00.85. Bauer said the drill helped both horses find the winner’s circle yesterday. 

“I don’t know if they were workmates as much as they were predator and prey,” Bauer said, with a laugh. “They both benefitted from it and Played Hard was set off from One More Baby. We just needed to make sure they’re at the level they needed to be.”

Bauer’s Saratoga string of 12 horses also includes promising sophomore Warrior Johny, a gelded son of Cairo Prince who broke his maiden on June 18 at Churchill Downs after on-the-board finishes in four of his first five outings. 

“He’s always competitive and runs mid-80 Beyers,” said Bauer. “I think he’d be competitive in a ‘1-X’ up here.”

***

Rookie Report: Pletcher to unleash promising juveniles on Whitney weekend

Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher will seek more first-out juvenile success at Saratoga this weekend when he saddles Crupi and Point Proven in a seven-furlong maiden special weight in Race 6 on Saturday.

Pletcher has saddled two first-out winning 2-year-olds already this meet in Eclipse Thoroughbreds’ Kaling and StarLadies Racing and LNJ Foxwoods’ Prank - a half-sister to this year’s Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets winner Mo Donegal. 

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Crupi is by Curlin out of the Malibu Moon mare Don’tforgetaboutme – a half-sister to graded stakes winners Red Ruby and Mo Tom as well as multiple Grade 1-placed Beautician. 

The chestnut colt is named in honor of the late horseman and pinhooker James “J.J.” Crupi of Ocala-based Crupi’s New Castle, who passed in May 2019 and had a longstanding relationship with Pletcher and his owners. 

“He did a lot of work with St. Elias Stable, the Violas and Mike Repole,” 

Pletcher recalled. “He did a great job of preparing babies to come in and selected quite a few of the good ones, so we had a good relationship.”

Crupi’s equine namesake has trained consistently since arriving at Pletcher’s Saratoga stable on the Oklahoma training track in late May. He went five furlongs in 1:02.58 last Saturday over the main track, and breezed from the gate twice last month, including a half-mile in 48.48 seconds on July 23. 

“He’s a very nice colt,” Pletcher said. “He’s bred to improve with a little more distance and a little more time. But he’s handled all of his assignments in good order so he’s ready to get his career underway. He should make a good showing.”

Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm, Crupi was bought for $275,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by his breeder. 

Luis Saez will ride from post 5. 

Point Proven, owned by the same connections as Crupi, also makes his debut for Pletcher and worked a sharp five furlongs from the gate last Saturday in 59.45 – the third fastest of 32 recorded works at the distance. 

“He was sharp. For a big, leggy colt he seemed to get away from there pretty well. We’re optimistic that he’ll break alertly and put himself in a good position,” Pletcher said. 

By second crop sire Gun Runner, Point Proven is out of the Bernardini mare Secret Jewel, who produced graded stakes winner Twenty Carat and four-time winner Mystic Night. He was bought for $675,000 out of the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. 

Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Point Proven from post 8. 

The Pletcher-duo will square off against the Brad Cox-trained Wadsworth, a Godolphin homebred by Quality Road. The bay colt is the second offspring out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Dickinson, who won three graded stakes on turf including the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. His second dam is Grade 1 winner Little Belle, who finished second in the 2008 Kentucky Oaks. She is a direct maternal descendant of highly influential broodmare La Troienne. 

Manny Franco will ride the regally-bred colt from post 4. 

On Sunday, Pletcher will saddle first-time starting juvenile filly Invest Wiselyfor Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight over the inner turf course at Saratoga [Race 6; 3:55 p.m. Eastern]. 

The daughter of 2018 Triple Crown winner and freshman stallion Justify has registered multiple works on the dirt, but Pletcher felt her turf breezes were more forward. Three weeks ago, she went a half-mile on the Oklahoma turf in 49.58 seconds.

“She’s trained well. We thought she showed some improvement on the grass and two turns should suit her well, so we’re getting started that way,” Pletcher said. 

Pletcher said Justify’s progeny show good energy early on. While Justify did not race at two, prominent members of the Storm Cat sire line have displayed precociousness during their respective 2-year-old seasons. 

“He’s off to a good start,” Pletcher said. “Even though he himself was a little later starting, Scat Daddy was an exceptional 2-year-old, Johannesburg was an exceptional 2-year-old, Hennessy and Storm Cat, both were as well. That said, it’s not surprising to see him come out with a good start.”

Bred in Kentucky by Narola, Invest Wisely is out of the graded stakes-winning Congrats mare Emma’s Encore, who won the Grade 1 Prioress at the Spa in 2012. She was bought for $210,000 out of the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Sale, where she was consigned by Baccari Bloodstock. 

Invest Wisely will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 6. 

Irish conditioner Joseph O’Brien will send out Stay Lost, a bay Bernardini filly out of Group 1-placed New Zealand-bred Darci’s Dream. 

Stay Lost, owned by Justin Casse, Mt. Brilliant Stable, Bronsan Racing, Oliver Sangster and Mary Marsh, worked an easy half-mile on the Oklahoma training turf course on Sunday in 52.80 seconds. 

Stay Lost will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 1. 


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More Notes

Green hoping to hit the ultimate “Jackpot” with promising juvenile Gulfport
Notes
Aug 12, 2022
Green hoping to hit the ultimate “Jackpot” with promising juvenile Gulfport

NYRA Press Office

​Owner Terry Green of Jackpot Farm has spent the past several decades in the casino business, having been a driving force in expanded gaming legislation in his native state of Mississippi. On Saturday, Green will hope to hit a different kind of jackpot when ultra-talented 2-year-old Gulfport seeks his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special at Saratoga Race Course.

Maple Leaf Mel a sentimental winner for Englehart in Wednesday’s sixth race
Notes
Aug 11, 2022
Maple Leaf Mel a sentimental winner for Englehart in Wednesday’s sixth race

NYRA Press Office

​When two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Parcells was mulling over names for a 2-year-old New York-bred Cross Traffic filly that he had just purchased for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in May, he suggested to trainer Jeremiah Englehart that the filly be named for his longtime assistant Melanie Giddings. Three months later, Maple Leaf Mel, named for Giddings’ Canadian roots, graduated on debut in Race 6, a six-furlong maiden special weight for state-bred fillies, on Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course.