08/05/2009 11:00PM

Aegean back on safer shores


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Aegean didn't enjoy her visit to Royal Ascot.

"It just wasn't her day," said trainer Wesley Ward.

Aegean, ninth there in the Group 3 Albany Stakes at 5-2, will try to regroup Saturday in the $65,000 Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The Colleen is the prep for Monmouth's top event for 2-year-old fillies, the $100,000 Sorority Stakes on Sept. 5.

Aegean brings an international touch to this year's Colleen. She won the first two starts, her debut at Keeneland and the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile against colts at Churchill Downs.

That earned her a trip to England, and an unhappy experience.

"It is a lot to ask of a filly," Ward said. "She had to ship on race day into unfamiliar surroundings and report to the paddock an hour before the race. She was a little upset before we saddled her, and she was a little washed out."

Aegean seems to have snapped back nicely since returning to the United States.

She has breezed three times at Monmouth in preparation for the Colleen, including a four-furlong bullet work in 46.80 on July 17.

"We wanted to give her a target to run at, so I worked her with one on my colts," Ward said. "She caught him and cruised by in hand. We wanted to be sure she was 100 percent. Coming back from England, you never know."

Ward originally targeted the Grade 3 Schuylerville, the opening-day feature at Saratoga, for Aegean's return. Those plans ended when the filly developed an eye infection.

"We didn't want to take her there to run against those fillies unless she was 100 percent." Ward said. "She still had a little cloudiness in the eye."

Aegean will have a wider range of vision as Ward removes the blinkers worn in the first three starts. She ran very close to the pace in those races.

"She doesn't really need them," Ward said. "I start out a lot of my 2-year-olds with blinkers. She won the first two races and you can't make changes. Now that she lost in England, I can take them off. Now she can be wherever she needs to be in the race."

Truth and Justice is the other filly in the race with stakes experience. She most recently ran fourth in the My Dear Stakes on the synthetic track at Woodbine.

Trainer Mary Hartmann is leaving town this weekend to run United Nations winner Presious Passion in the Arlington Million. Hartmann leaves behind Marquet Madness, a debut winner by seven lengths here on June 19, for the Colleen.

"I think she'll run good," Hartmann said. "I think Wesley Ward's horse is going to be tough, but I think we'll be competitive.'

Trying blinkers with Run Sully Run

Like Aegean, Run Sully Run will have an equipment change Saturday in the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

In this instance, the blinkers go on the colt, who hasn't been better than fourth in three races this year.

"He's been disappointing, and I don't know why, because he's trained really well," said trainer Cam Gambolati. "I haven't hit the right spot with him either. I'm going to put blinkers on him to try and get him into the race and get him a little bit closer."