08/27/2010 4:29PM

Blame preparing to leave Saratoga for Keeneland


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − Blame wrapped up his noteworthy summer at Saratoga by breezing an easy four furlongs in 50.80 seconds under assistant trainer Randi Melton at the Oklahoma training center Friday.

Blame put his mark on the 2010 Saratoga meeting when he rallied through the final furlong under jockey Garrett Gomez to upset odds-on favorite Quality Road in the Grade 1 Whitney. The victory was the fifth in a row and seventh in the last eight starts for Blame, a 4-year-old son of Arch. Blame is trained by Al Stall Jr. and owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm.

On Monday, Blame is scheduled to board a plane for Lexington, where he will take up residence at Keeneland for the fall.

“It was a nice, even work, and all we were looking for,” Stall said. “He ships Monday. We got him a direct flight right to Lexington, so he’ll be stall to stall in about three hours. That was one of the reasons we waited a little longer before sending him back. The other was to wait until the weather broke a little back there and started to cool down at night so he could get a little breather even if it was warm in the afternoons.”

Stall is targeting the Oct. 2 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont as Blame’s final start before the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“He’ll have a couple of strong works at Keeneland, and then we’ll ship him to New York to race and return,” Stall said.

Mythical Power sharp in Woodward work

Mythical Power confirmed his affinity for dirt with a solid six-furlong work in 1:12.58 Friday morning over Saratoga’s main track in preparation for a start against Quality Road in next Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes.

Working after the renovation break with exercise rider Simon Harris up, Mythical Power worked six furlongs from the five-furlong pole. With Harris rousing him with the right rein, Mythical Power got his final three furlongs in 35.88 seconds. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.

“I think it was a strong work for being by himself,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who said he usually works Mythical Power in company.

Mythical Power has three wins from 12 starts. Two of those wins came over Lone Star Park’s dirt track, in last year’s Lone Star Derby and in this year’s Texas Mile. Most recently, Mythical Power finished fifth in the San Diego Handicap over Del Mar’s synthetic surface.

“He hates synthetics,” Baffert said. “He looks a lot better now. It looks like he’s coming around.”

Baffert said he isn’t thrilled about taking on Quality Road at equal weights, but that dirt options are limited.

“There’s no other place to run him,” he said. “I’ll take a shot with him.”

Others pointing to the Woodward are Arcodoro, Convocation, and Mine That Bird. Possible starters include Haynesfield and Indian Dance.

All older horses carry 126 pounds. Three-year-olds carry 121 pounds.

Baffert may send `Lucky’ East to train

Baffert said he had no regrets about not running Lookin At Lucky in Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes, but he did regret not sending him here to train.

Baffert may rectify that error by sending Lookin At Lucky and several other horses to Saratoga or Belmont to train for upcoming fall stakes.

“I almost sent him up here this week,” Baffert said. “I’m mad at myself that I didn’t. All the ones I sent here are doing so well. It’s amazing how well the horses are moving up here in just a few weeks. Right now I’m in a soul-searching mode deciding what I’m going to do with these horses.”

Baffert said Lookin At Lucky, the Preakness and Haskell Invitational winner, is jogging at Del Mar.

Forever Together works for Glens Falls

Forever Together will help bring down the curtain on the meet Sept. 6, when she runs closing day in the Grade 3 Glens Falls at 1 3/8 miles.

The 2008 champion female turf horse, Forever Together gave every indication she will be ready for another top performance after working five furlongs in 1:02.11 over the turf with her regular exercise rider, Danielle Hodsdon, in the saddle late Friday morning.

Forever Together, who will try to snap a six-race losing streak in the Glens Fall, posted splits of 13.01, 25.62, and 38.11 before coming home her final quarter-mile in 24 while kept well out from the dogs throughout the work.

“I was very pleased,” trainer Jonathan Sheppard said. “I wanted her to start off steady and finish up strong, and that’s exactly what she did.”

Hodsdon said she purposely kept Forever Together a little farther out from the rail than normal.

“The ground near the dogs was pretty chewed up by the time she worked, so I just wanted to keep her out in the better footing,” Hodsdon said. “That was more important than the final time.”

Forever Together is coming off another huge and heartbreaking effort. She was third, beaten a head by Proviso, in the Grade 1 Diana on July 31.

“Even though she hasn’t been winning, she keeps running a big race every time,” Sheppard said. “And hopefully, she’ll give us the same kind of effort in the next one.”

Charitable Man possible for Forego

Despite a disappointing seasonal debut, Charitable Man could return to Grade 1 stakes company in next Saturday’s $250,000 Forego Stakes at seven furlongs.

Trainer Tony Dutrow said Charitable Man has flourished since coming to Saratoga following a second-place finish in an allowance race at Delaware Park on Aug. 2, his first start of the year.

“He’s doing fantastic here,” Dutrow said. “We are very, very happy with him. We feel he is at his very best. I know it’s a very, very difficult race with very good horses at the top of their game. My options are not good.”

In the Forego, Charitable Man would probably face Vineyard Haven, Bribon, Warrior’s Reward, You and I Forever, Here Comes Ben, and Starforaday. Girolamo or Regal Ransom are possible.

As a 2-year-old, Charitable Man won his career debut here by 11 1/2 lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs. Before his Delaware loss, Charitable Man had won his three previous starts around one turn. At Delaware, Charitable Man did not seem comfortable, failing to switch leads until late and losing by two lengths.

“Surprised, disappointed in that race,” Dutrow said. “He didn’t win by 10. I thought he would.”

On Thursday, Charitable Man worked four furlongs in 49.09 seconds.

◗ Girolamo breezed six furlongs in 1:13.66 on Friday. Girolamo has not started since finishing 12th and last in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

◗ Ailalea, a multiple Grade 3 winner for trainer Todd Pletcher, worked a half-mile in 48.66 over the main track here Friday. Pletcher entered Ailalea as “dirt only” in a three-other-than allowance race on the grass Wednesday, but the race did not fill.

– additional reporting by David Grening