Studlydoright seeks to remain perfect in G3 Sanford | NYRA
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Jul 7, 2024
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Studlydoright seeks to remain perfect in G3 Sanford

by Mary Eddy

David R. Hughes’ stakes-winner Studlydoright puts his perfect record on the line in Saturday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Sanford, a six-furlong sprint for juveniles, at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Jerry Robb, the Maryland-bred son of Nyquist boasts the lone stakes victory in the field of seven as he enters off a strong showing in the Listed Tremont on June 6 sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the Spa main track. There, he overcame a bobbling beginning and closed an 11-length deficit to take command in the stretch and inch clear to the 1 3/4-length score under returning rider Xavier Perez. The effort was awarded an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He’s doing very well and I’m looking forward to running him again,” said Robb. “He’s just a nice horse. I was tickled to death with the way he ran and the way he finished. I’m looking forward to going a little bit farther with him. I think the more distance, the better.”

Studlydoright debuted in May at Laurel Park with a win against open company sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs over sloppy and sealed footing, rallying from six lengths back to drive home a 1 1/2-length winner. He was a $110,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale and is out of the graded stakes-placed Curlin mare Peach of a Gal.

Studlydoright enters from a sharp five-furlong breeze in 1:01 flat Saturday at Laurel Park, a move Robb said was to his liking.

“Every work and every race has been a little better and a little better,” said Robb. “He’s just steadily improving. He worked all in hand in company with an older stakes horse and he refused to let the other horse get by. He did everything right.”

Perez has the call from post 6.

Repole Stable’s impressive debut maiden-winner Mentee makes his first start against winners after fending off the late rally of Colloquial in a five-furlong maiden sprint on June 15 at Belmont at the Big A for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.

The son of City of Light is a full-brother to the Pletcher-trained and Repole-campaigned Fierceness, last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, and was heavily favored in his debut where he set the tempo under returning Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. He widened his lead to five lengths at the stretch call, but was met with a flying challenge from Colloquial in the final sixteenth. A confident Velazquez stayed calm aboard his charge and coaxed him along to hold on by a nose in a final time of 56.97 seconds, a track record for five furlongs at the Big A. The win was awarded a field-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure.

“We were very pleased with the effort,” said Pletcher. “I think he got a little bit idle on his own but was able to get the job done in a very fast time. I think the horse that was second is a high-quality horse as well, so I was pleased with his debut and very happy with the way he's trained since then.”

Along with Fierceness, Mentee’s immediate family also includes Grade 1-winner Outwork, who captured the 2016 Wood Memorial for Pletcher and Repole. He enters from a half-mile breeze in 49.05 seconds Sunday over Saratoga’s main track.

“He had a very good breeze this morning,” said Pletcher. “He was in company on the inside of an older horse named Unlimited Potential. It was a good breeze and he galloped out nicely around the turn. I had him up six furlongs in 1:13 and four and then eased him down from there.”

Pletcher said Mentee shows the same level of professionalism as his accomplished brother.

“He's a little bit ahead [of Fierceness] in terms of having his second start scheduled for July 13,” said Pletcher. “They're both really push-button horses to work and it really wasn't until, in both cases, that we got a little more serious in their breezes where we knew they had a lot of talent because they're both a little quiet on a daily basis. Hopefully he continues to maintain his composure and handle everything as professionally as he has so far.”

Pletcher added he is hopeful Mentee’s proficiency at the gate can aid him as he emerges from the inside post under Velazquez.

"You never prefer the one-hole, but so far he's been a very good gate horse in the mornings and showed good speed in his debut,” said Pletcher. “Hopefully, he's able to get away cleanly.”

L and N Racing’s stakes-placed Three Echoes [post 5, Flavien Prat] looks to rebound from a third-place effort to Studlydoright in the Tremont where he was the 2-1 second choice for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

The son of Echo Town had a bumpy start when breaking inward under returning rider Flavien Prat, but recovered to vie for the lead along the inside in a three-way battle. He angled out in the turn to set his sights on the frontrunning favorite Touchy before ducking back inside for the stretch run. Three Echoes ran on strongly, but was in tight along the rail as a drifting Touchy came inward and Studlydoright surged past from well off the pace on the outside. A stewards’ inquiry resulted in no change to the order of finish.

Three Echoes seeks to add to a debut victory sprinting five furlongs in May at Churchill Downs where he pounced from 1 1/2 lengths off the pace and got up in time to win by three-quarter lengths. He was a $130,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

R and H Stable’s New York-bred Mo Plex [post 8, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] was an eye-catching 10-length winner on debut against fellow state-breds on June 20 at Belmont at the Big A where he battled for the early lead with Man From Malta and kicked well clear at the stretch call. Trained by Jeremiah Englehart, the son of Complexity won geared down in a final time of 1:05.05 for 5 1/2 furlongs and earned a 67 Beyer for the effort.

Bred in the Empire State by Everything’s Cricket Racing, Mo Plex is out of the unraced Uncle Mo mare Mo Joy, a half-sister to multiple stakes-placed Little Daddy.

Completing the field are a quartet of maiden winners in Bella Mia Stables’ Mr. Squeaky Wheels [post 2, Jose Ortiz], who races with two front shoes for trainer Kevin Rice; Cash is King and LC Racing’s Baby Dukes [post 3, Jose Lezcano] for trainer Butch Reid, Jr.; Our Blue Streaks Stable and SGV Thoroughbreds’ New York homebred Soontobeking [post 4, Eric Cancel] for trainer George Weaver; and Peter Tournas’ New York homebred War Tax [post 7, Javier Castellano] for trainer Carlos Martin.

The Sanford is slated as Race 11 on Saturday’s 12-race card, which also features the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana in Race 10 and the Grade 3, $175,000 Kelso in Race 2. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the Saratoga meet on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

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