by NYRA Press Office
Trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented by a pair of runners as he seeks his third victory in the $100,000 Alydar at 1 1/8 miles on Sunday.
Calumet Farm's homebred Patch, the bay Union Rags colt who became famous on the 2017 Triple Crown trail for his uncommonly cycloptic vision, will carry the banner from the Pletcher barn from the outside post 5. The 4-year-old is exiting a lackluster seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on a very warm evening on June 16 at Churchill Downs.
“He’s been good. I think he’s training well. I think we’ll draw a line through the Stephen Foster. For a lot of horses, it seemed like a tough night,” said Pletcher, who has won two of the Alydar’s five runnings with Vitoria Olimpica (2013) and Rally Cry (2017). “Hopefully, he’ll rebound with a more Patch-like performance. With a couple races under his belt and a few good works, he should be rounding into form.”
Prior to the Stephen Foster, Patch won his seasonal bow by a neck against allowance company in May. It was his first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby last August.
Installed as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, Patch will be ridden by Luis Saez.
Repole Stable’s Outplay will be looking to rebound from a well-beaten eighth-place finish in the 1 ½-mile Grade 2 Brooklyn on June 9 at Belmont Park - his first race beyond 1 1/8 miles. Outplay, by Bernardini, won the Curlin last summer in his only previous appearance at the Spa. He began his 4-year-old campaign with a 5 ½-length win in an optional-claimer in March and finished seventh in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day prior to the Brooklyn.
“I think the mile and a half proved too far for him,” said Pletcher. “He was successful here last year in the Curlin and hopefully getting him back to a mile and an eighth will be helpful.”
Outplay, at 3-1 on the morning line, will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 2.
Also entered in Sunday’s Alydar are 7-5 morning-line favorite Timeline, Realm, and Kurilov.
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Sistercharlie, A Raving Beauty hit worktab for upcoming stakes assignments
With inclement weather forecast for Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, meet leading trainer Chad Brown sent a bevy of workers to the Oklahoma turf course Friday morning in preparation for upcoming stakes assignments.
Multiple graded stakes winner Sistercharlie, who won the Grade 1 Diana July 21, worked in company with multiple graded stakes winner A Raving Beauty. The pair breezed four furlongs in 48.22 seconds.
“I thought they all looked well,” said Brown. “Sistercharlie is on target for the [Grade 1] Beverly D at Arlington and A Raving Beauty will target the [Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve] Ballston Spa [August 25].”
Rushing Fall, unraced since finishing second in the Grade 3 Edgewood on May 4 at Churchill Downs, breezed in company with New Money Honey, completing four furlongs in 49.44 seconds.
“We’re looking at the [Grade 2] Lake Placid [August 18] for Rushing Fall and keeping it in consideration. I don’t really have plans right now for New Money Honey,” said Brown.
Brown also reported Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Good Magic has continued to recoup well following the July 29 race. Good Magic, along with Grade 1 Belmont Stakes runner-up Gronkowski, remains on course for the Grade 1 Travers on August 25.
“Good Magic looks terrific,” said Brown. “Ideally we’ll be looking to get two works in before the race. Gronkowski is also doing well and as of now we plan to work him over the weekend when we get a clear track.”
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Disco Partner looks to get back on track in G3 Troy
Set to make his first start since finishing a disappointing fifth in the one-mile Forbidden Apple on July 14, multiple graded stakes winner Disco Partner will return to 5 ½ furlongs on the turf as the headliner in a field of six in the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy for 3-year-olds and up and Sunday.
A 6-year-old homebred for owner Patricia A. Generazio trained by Christophe Clement, Disco Partner kicked off his season with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Shakertown on April 7 at Keeneland before successfully defending his crown in the Grade 2 Jaipur Invitational at six furlongs on June 9.
“He came out of his last race in good shape,” said Clement. “We’re putting him back to sprinting, and it’s a bit quick coming off the Forbidden Apple, but he’s doing great. The weather is my biggest concern, but we’ll see what happens. He’s been here in Saratoga for a good week to 10 days, and he’s acclimated and doing well.”
Looking to improve off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Highlander at Woodbine on June 30 is Holding Gold for Live Oak Plantation and trainer Mark Casse. Rounding out the field is Ready for Rye, making his first start since a seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Parx Dash for Chalk Racing and trainer Tom Albertrani; Eastwood for trainer Brian Lynch and Town and Country Farms; and Square Shooter for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and owner Gold Square.
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Saratoga Race Course Week 4 stakes probables
Wednesday, August 8: The $100,000 Quick Call
Probable: Dirty (Jeremiah Englehart); Fig Jelly (Jason Servis); Majestic Dunhill (George Weaver); New Legend (Ben Colebrook); Shangroyal (Mike Maker); Smooth B (Robert Reid); Stolen Pistol (Joe Sharp)
Friday, August 10: The $100,000 Tale of the Cat
Probable: Command Post (Js Servis); Eight Town (Brian Lynch); Silver Ride (Lynch); Wonderful Light (Michelle Nevin)
Possible: Always Sunshine (Ned Allard); Lewisfield (Jeff Runco)
Saturday, August 11: Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave
Probable: Delta Prince (Jimmy Jerkens); Divisidero (Kelly Rubley); Heart to Heart (Lynch); Made You Look (Chad Brown); Yoshida (Bill Mott)
Possible: Voodoo Song (Linda Rice)
Saturday, August 11: Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack
Probable: Lyrical Lady (Steve Asmussen); Sue’s Fortune (J. Englehart); Virginia Eloise (Todd Pletcher)
Possible: Tijori (Simon Callaghan)
Sunday, August 12: Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite
Probable: Call Paul (Js. Servis); Sombeyay (Pletcher); Spinoff (Pletcher)
Possible: Joevia (Greg Sacco); Sir Truebadour (Asmussen)
Monday, August 13: The $100,000 Saratoga Dew
Probable: Frosty Margarita (Rudy Rodriguez); Land Mine (Phil Serpe); Verdant Pastures (Charlton Baker)
Possible: Frost Wise (Dilger)