02/09/2012 4:05PM

Aqueduct: Swag Daddy recovers in time for Sweet Envoy

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Swag Daddy, scratched from last week's Withers, has recovered in time to face New York-breds in Saturday's Sweet Envoy.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Richard Dutrow Jr. was prepared to step his New York-bred 3-year-old Swag Daddy up in class in last week’s Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. But a foot issue forced Dutrow to scratch Swag Daddy out of that Grade 3 race.

The foot problem did not turn out to be serious so Dutrow entered Swag Daddy back for Saturday’s $75,000 Sweet Envoy Stakes, a mile and-70 yard race restricted to New York-bred 3-year-olds. It is a similar spot to two previous New York-bred stakes that Swag Daddy won earlier this meet.

Swag Daddy has won three of four starts since owner Eric Fein transferred the horse to Dutrow last fall. In winning the Damon Runyon by a head on Dec. 4, Swag Daddy rallied from last in the eight-horse field to run down Pretension by head. Pretension is in this field.

In winning the Restrainor Stakes on Dec. 31, Swag Daddy went gate to wire, to win by 4 1/4 lengths over Coalition, who is also back in this field. Swag Daddy might have been forced to use his speed that day because he drew the rail. He might find himself in the same predicament Saturday, when he again breaks from the fence under Junior Alvarado.

While this race could be used as a stepping-stone to the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham on March 4, Dutrow said he wasn’t looking past Saturday.

“I’m just looking to figure out a way to win this race,” said Dutrow, who will be watching the Sweet Envoy on television from Gulfstream Park, where he will saddle two runners in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap about 40 minutes later. “If he does it the right way, maybe we’ll be looking to take a big shot somewhere with him.”

Going into the Withers, Dutrow felt Swag Daddy was training the best he had since receiving the horse. On Tuesday, Swag Daddy blew out four furlongs a bullet 48 seconds over the inner track.

Pretension, who gave Swag Daddy all he wanted in the Damon Runyon, came back to run second in an open company allowance race at Laurel on Jan. 4. The winner of that race, Hakama, ran last in the Withers.

Sportswriter, who won a six-furlong entry-level allowance race for statebreds, will attempt to stretch out around two turns for the first time on dirt. He was well-beaten in a pair of two turn stakes on turf last year.