02/16/2013 12:15PM

Aqueduct: Super-claim Saginaw begins season at six furlongs in Hollie Hughes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Saginaw has won nine races and $485,000 since being claimed for $30,000 by trainer David Jacobson.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Saginaw, whose 10 victories placed him in a three-way tie for the horse with the most wins in North America in 2012, kicks off his 2013 campaign at Aqueduct in Monday’s $75,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-bred sprinters.

Saginaw, a 7-year-old gelding by Peruvian, will face four rivals, including stablemate Be Bullish, who won the Hollie Hughes in 2011. Both horses are trained by David Jacobson, but will run uncoupled in the wagering.

Jacobson and Drawing Away Stable claimed Saginaw for $30,000 last March 8 out of a race he won by 13 1/4 lengths. For his new connections, Saginaw won nine of 12 starts – including six stakes – and earned $485,100. He won at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.

Saginaw’s lone win at six furlongs came in the Gravesend over the inner track on Dec. 15. He came back 11 days later in the Alex Robb and finished a well-beaten third, 12 3/4 lengths behind Saratoga Snacks.

Jacobson gave Saginaw a freshening after that, but believes the gelding is ready for his first assignment of the year.

“After freshening him up, I like sprinting him at least his first and second time back even if we had more options,” Jacobson said. “He ran two fantastic races for us going three-quarters.”

One of Saginaw’s losses in 2012 came in the Hudson Stakes at six furlongs, a race in which he broke poorly and had to rally wide before falling a length short to Mine Over Matter.

Saginaw, who breaks from post 4 on Monday, will carry co-highweight of 123 pounds along with Sportswriter.

Jacobson claimed Be Bullish for $50,000 last Sept. 1 and the horse had a second and a win while in for $50,000 claiming before running last in the True and Blue Stakes here on Jan. 9.

“He didn’t go into the last race as well as he had the two before,” Jacobson said. “We’re asking a lot of him to run against Saginaw, but we’ll give him another try to see what he’s got.”

Be Bullish, who finished third in this race last year after winning it in 2011, breaks from the rail under David Cohen.

Readytodefer could play out as the primary speed for trainer Bruce Levine. A 4-year-old gelding by Defer, Readytodefer has four wins and three seconds in his last seven starts. Levine said he would have preferred to have run Readytodefer in an open company second-level allowance race, but that didn’t fill. Levine does feel that Readytodefer’s speed could be potent on the inner track. Jose Ortiz rides.

Uncle T Seven, winless in 19 starts since winning the Ashley T Cole in 2010, completes the field.

By racing Monday, Aqueduct will be dark Tuesday and Wednesday and resume its four-day race week on Thursday.