Maximum Security targeting either G1 Runhappy Travers or Pennsylvania Derby
by NYRA Press Office
- Englehart aiming for graded stakes success with Tuggle
- Multiple stakes-placed Theitalianamerican targeting $200K Funny Cide
- The Rookie Report: Pletcher, Waterford Stables debut pair of Summer Front juveniles; Brown debuts $1.4 million purchase for OXO Equine
Gary and Mary West's multiple graded-stakes winner Maximum Security breezed four furlongs in 54 seconds flat on August 7 at Monmouth Park as he continues preparations for his next start in either the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 24 at Saratoga Race Course or the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on September 21 at Parx.
Trainer Jason Servis said a decision is forthcoming for the winner of both the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational.
"We'll make a decision soon for his next start. I just want to make sure he is 100 percent, but he's still not there yet," said Servis.
Early probables for the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers include: Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey); Endorsed (Kiaran McLaughlin); Everfast (Dale Romans); Game Winner (Bob Baffert); Highest Honor (Chad Brown); Laughing Fox (Steve Asmussen); Lookin At Bikinis (Brown); Maximum Security (Jason Servis); Owendale (Brad Cox); Tacitus (Bill Mott); and Tax (Danny Gargan).
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables' World of Trouble continues to recover from a bruised foot which forced Servis to scratch the multiple Grade 1 winner from the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy on August 3 at the Spa.
"We're still battling a little foot issue with him," said Servis.
World of Trouble, riding a five-race win streak including the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct and Grade 1 Jaipur June 8 on Belmont Stakes Day last out, is targeting the Grade 3, $300,000 Turf Monster on September 2 at Parx.
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Englehart aiming for graded stakes success with Tuggle
Conditioner Jeremiah Englehart has started week five at Saratoga in strong fashion, saddling two juvenile winners along with one second and a third-place finish from seven starters this week.
Englehart will try and keep his hot streak with 2-year-olds going on Saturday when he saddles maiden debut winner Tuggle in the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special.
Purchased for $160,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling sale for August Dawn Farm, the Point of Entry colt is regally bred for the turf. Englehart intended Tuggle to debut on the grass, but instead he impressed when the race was moved off the grass, winning by 1 ¾ lengths over a sloppy main track.
"Our 2-year-olds have run really well and you don't always get to be so fortunate up here with that. It's been a good meet so far," said Englehart. "Tuggle is probably the best he's been coming into this race. Hopefully, he can step up to the plate and run well. I was a little disappointed the race was taken off the turf that day, but he showed that he can handle the dirt. Hopefully, it can carry into this race."
Another juvenile that has given Englehart success this summer at Saratoga is Gold Square LLC's New York-bred My Italian Rabbi. The Competitive Edge filly is perfect in two starts, winning her debut on May 30 at Belmont Park by 2 ½ lengths and returning to win the Stillwater on July 18 at Saratoga.
My Italian Rabbi returned to the work tab Friday morning at Saratoga, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.89 over the Oklahoma training track.
"She's continuing to do well and develop," said Englehart. "This was her second breeze back, so we'll look to get one more in before making a decision on where we'll spot her next."
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Multiple stakes-placed Theitalianamerican targeting $200K Funny Cide
Monty Foss and John Moirano's Theitalianamerican made an eye-catching debut rallying from 12 lengths off the pace to finish second, by a head, to Sky of Hook in a five-furlong maiden sprint on May 10 at Belmont Park.
The impressive effort gave trainer Gary Contessa the confidence to enter Theitalianamerican in the June 7 Tremont at Belmont Park, where the ridgling again rallied for second finishing 4 1/2-lengths back of well-regarded Fore Left, who is entered in Saturday's Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar.
Last out, in the six furlong Rick Violette on a sloppy Saratoga main track, Theitalianamerican was away last of five and rallied for third in a race won by familiar foe Sky of Hook.
The Girolamo bay, bred in New York by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and Spruce Lane Farm, breezed seven furlongs in 1:35.05 on the turf training track Friday morning.
Contessa said that although the work went well, his talented maiden will target the $200,000 Funny Cide, a 6 1/2-furlong main track sprint for New York-breds, slated for August 23 as part of the New York Breeders' Showcase Day.
"He'll run next in the Funny Cide on the dirt," said Contessa. "Turf is something I like to try with every 2-year-old to get an idea of how they move over it. I love that it rained last night and there was a little give to it, but I'm not ready to commit to him being a turf horse yet. I thought his work was useful, but it was not mind blowing, so we'll stick with the dirt for a while."
Contessa said Theitalianamerican's closing kick was hindered last out by the sloppy track.
"He shows up every time," said Contessa. "Last time, you have to forgive him. You just can't close on that type of track. He's a bonafide closer, but if we get a fast track in the Funny Cide we might be able to turn the tables on them.
"He's doing great," Contessa added. "The Funny Cide is the biggest money race of the year here for New York-bred 2-year-old colts and even if we run second or third, it's a big pay day and we can always come back and win the maiden."
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The Rookie Report: Pletcher, Waterford Stables debut pair of Summer Front juveniles; Brown debuts $1.4 million purchase for OXO Equine
Two open company maiden special weight events are on deck for Saturday afternoon's program at Saratoga Race Course, featuring some well-bred first time starters.
Both races feature offspring by freshman Airdrie Stud stallion Summer Front, which are owned by Thomas Moore's Waterford Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher.
In Race 3, a 1 1/16-mile event over the Mellon turf course, Waterford Stable debuts Summer to Remember, who is the fourth progeny out of the Distorted Humor broodmare Psychadelacized, and a half-sister to graded stakes winner and black type producer Classic Elegance. All three of Summer to Remember's older siblings are winners.
Also entered is Fame to Famous, a second-time starter by Tapit for conditioner Edmund Davis. The bay colt was purchased for a thrifty $35,000 from the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in May and is out of the Stormy Atlantic broodmare Assateauge, who also produced stakes winner Explorationist and is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Rainha Da Bateria.
The colt outran his 51-1 odds on debut when registering a fourth-place finish, defeated just 1 3/4-lengths.
"The owner that took me in here, J. P. McAllen, has been good to me and he's been going to sales since he was a young boy in Ireland," Davis said. "He has a great eye for a horse. He went to the sale and picked this horse out that he liked and he sent me a picture and pedigree. I went over it and said to him, 'There's no way you're getting this horse for less than $200,000'. Sure enough, he got it for $35,000 and I couldn't believe it. He was sound and had a lot of pedigree to back it up with.
"As I got to riding him, I got assessing him and came to the conclusion that, not only his pedigree, but with the way he feels, it doesn't matter if it's dirt, turf, or hot lava, he needs to go two turns," Davis added.
Two races later, juvenile colts hit the main track for a six-furlong maiden event, with Pletcher and Waterford Stable teaming up with a Summer Front first time starter in Irish Front, a Kentucky homebred out of the Purge broodmare Erin Rose.
"They have a few Summer Fronts and he's trained pretty well," Pletcher said. "I like the way he's been breezing. He didn't draw favorably from the rail first out, but he's been getting away well from the gate, so hopefully he does so on race day."
Breaking just to Irish Front's outside is Kittansett for trainer Chad Brown and Larry Best's OXO Equine. A $1.4 million acquisition from last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the bay colt is by 2015 Triple Crown winner and Coolmore freshman sire American Pharoah and out of the two-time graded stakes winning Pulpit broodmare Bsharpsonata.
Sierra Farm, who bred and consigned Kittansett at the sale, purchased the dam while in foal to American Pharoah for $375,000 at the Keeneland November Mixed Sale.
"He never had an issue from the day he was born to the day he was sold," said Sierra Farm's manager Mike Callanan. "He had all the moves and was just a star from the get go. We took him out to the sale and he didn't bat a hair to anything out there. Everything was easy for him. The word on this colt is that he's supposed to be pretty special. His mother is back in foal to Uncle Mo and he has an Arrogate sister on the farm, so it's very exciting for us."
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will saddle Ghost of the Mambo, a first-time starter by Ghostzapper for His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud. The bay Kentucky-bred colt is out of the two-time stakes winning Kingmambo broodmare Much Obliged, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Bedanken. Bred by Pin Oak Farm, who campaigned the broodmare, Ghost of the Mambo was purchased for $300,000 from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in March.