by Keith McCalmont
Sequel Racing and Lakland Farm's Readyforprimetime brings back-to-back turf sprint-wins into Sunday's $85,000 Lucky Coin at Saratoga Race Course.
Sunday's card also features a pair of graded events led by the Grade 1, $250,000 Spinaway at seven furlongs for juvenile fillies and the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss at six furlongs for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward.
Trained by Linda Rice, Readyforprimetime enters the 5 ½-furlong Mellon turf course sprint for 4-year-olds and upward which have not won a stakes race in 2020 from a frontrunning three-quarter length win in an optional-claiming turf sprint at the same distance on July 29 at the Spa. That effort came almost 10 months after a one-length score in a 5 ½-furlong turf allowance in October at Laurel Park.
Bred in Kentucky by Jamm Ltd., the 4-year-old More Than Ready colt was purchased for $220,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Initially campaigned by Jonathan Thomas through a pair of placings at Gulfstream Park last winter, Readyforprimetime was transferred to Rice and graduated last August sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs at the Spa. He then entered the Allied Forces last September at Belmont but failed to hit the board.
With a record 2-for-2 at Saratoga and 3-for-3 at the distance, Rice said she is optimistic.
"He's been training very well and he certainly likes the Saratoga course, so we're hoping to get another start into him here," said Rice. "I'm sure this will be tougher competition, but when you win your allowance conditions, that's what happens.
"We have no choice but to step up, so we'll see how it goes," she added. "He does have a very nice pedigree."
Readyforprimetime has trained into this event at Belmont Park, including a half-mile breeze on August 24 in 49.77 on the main track.
Dylan Davis has the call from post 7.
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables' multiple graded-stakes placed Shekky Shebaz boasts a record of 22-6-6-4 with purse earnings of $422,400. The 5-year-old Cape Blanco gelding was placed second last out in the Grade 3 Troy following the disqualification of Imprimis.
Recently moved to the care of Christophe Clement, Shekky Shebaz ran an even third in his debut for the conditioner in the Wolf Hill on July 18 at Monmouth, which was won by Archidust, who came back to capture the Get Serious at the same track.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. retains the mount from the inside post on the speedy fellow, who finished third in the 2019 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Santa Escolastica Stable's multiple graded-stakes placed Gidu won a pair of stakes in 2018, capturing the Columbia at Tampa Bay and the Paradise Creek at Belmont following a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 5-year-old Frankel grey is winless in three starts this campaign, but did pick up black type when second in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf in January traveling one mile on the Gulfstream green.
Last out, in a 1 1/16-mile turf route on July 29 at the Spa, Gidu opened up an eight-length advantage through three-quarters of a mile before fading to sixth.
Gidu will exit post 9 under Jose Ortiz.
Rounding out the field are Fixed Point [post 2, Jose Lezcano], Battle Station [post 3, Kendrick Carmouche], Fig Jelly [post 5, Joel Rosario], Pagliacci [post 6, Eric Cancel] and Pulsate [post 8, Luis Saez],. Lenstar [Reylu Gutierrez] is entered for the main-track only.
The Lucky Coin is slated as Race 11 on Sunday's 12-race card, which offers a first post of 12:45 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present daily television coverage of the 40-day summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. For the complete Saratoga Live broadcast schedule, and additional programming information, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
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