09/04/2009 11:00PM

Change of plans for Not Macho Any More

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Barbara D. Livingston
Backtalk, whose perfect record includes a win in the Sanford, must find a way to overcome post 13 in Monday's Hopeful at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Rick Violette has called another audible.

Initially planning to scratch Not Macho Any More out of Saturday's Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park to run in Monday's Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, Violette changed his mind Saturday morning and will now run Not Macho Any More in the Sapling and scratch out of the Hopeful.

The Hopeful drew a deep field of 13 led by the undefeated Backtalk, who drew the outside post.

"Thirteen horses, very few throw-outs," Violette said when looking at the Hopeful field. "Any of those horses could jump up and run big. The Sapling's an easier spot, we can always come back to do the Champagne."

Violette's back-and-forth with Not Macho Any More was precipitated by the fact he could not run Bulls and Bears in the Hopeful as planned because that horse developed a temperature.

After winning his debut by 2 1/2 lengths under Kent Desormeaux at Belmont on July 16, Not Macho Any More was being pointed to the Saratoga Special here on Aug. 20. But Not Macho Any More broke out with a case of hives before the race, had to be medicated and thus was never entered.

Violette had high hopes for Not Macho Any More when he debuted at Belmont. He had worked head and head with Bulls and Bears, who won his debut two weeks earlier.

"Bulls and Bears had already won and if anything [Not Macho Any More] had shown maybe a little bit more raw talent," Violette said.

Backtalk is 3 for 3 with victories in the Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs and Sanford Stakes here on his resume. However, he will have to deal with the extreme outside post in the now 12-horse field. Richard Migliore has the call.

The Hopeful field includes several talented maiden winners seen at this meet including Aspire, Dublin, Liston and Westover Wildcat.

Trainer Steve Asmussen entered three including Sanford runner-up Enumerate, Mountaineer Juvenile winner Prince Rooney and multiple listed stakes winner Enumerate.

Todd Pletcher entered two including Aikenite, a debut winner here on Aug. 9 and One Note Samba, a New York-bred maiden winner in his second start.

Flashing headed to Presque Isle

Flashing, winner of the Grade 1 Test here on Aug. 8, will experiment running on synthetic surfaces when she makes her next start in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Master Stakes over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 12.

Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer for Godolphin Stable, said head Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor chose this race to find out whether a race like the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at seven furlongs is a possibility for Flashing. The Breeders' Cup is being run over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface.

"He thought if she did run well in the Presque Isle race you'd at least entertain the idea of taking her out to Santa Anita for the seventh-eighths race,'' Mettee said. "Now that she's a Grade 1 winner she's likely to go off to the breeding shed after this year.''

On Friday, Flashing worked five furlongs in 1:01 over the synthetic surface over the Greentree training center, which is now owned by Godolphin's owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Regal Ransom possible for Super Derby

Regal Ransom, who has not raced since finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby, could make his next start in the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 19, Mettee said Friday.

Regal Ransom worked a strong six furlongs in 1:11.87 Friday morning over Saratoga's main track and if he works well again next week at Belmont Park, the Super Derby is likely. Regal Ransom, who won the UAE Derby in Dubai, was scratched from the Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes Day due to a minor injury.

"He's a nice horse to train up to the Jerome, but we've got Girolamo for that, we've got Vineyard Haven for that, we could possibly have Midshipman for that,'' Mettee said, referring to a one-turn mile race at Belmont on Oct. 11. "Somebody's got to go on the road; he's the most likely candidate.''

On Friday, Girolamo worked five furlongs in 59.77 seconds over Saratoga's main track. Girolamo came back off a 10-month layoff to win an allowance race by four lengths.

Interactif upsets With Anticipation

After watching Interactif work a strong four furlongs on the turf on Aug. 28, trainer Todd Pletcher immediately targeted Friday's Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes with the 2-year-old colt.

Interactif transferred his morning form to the afternoon by rallying three wide on the far turn and kicking on through the stretch en route to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $109,500 With Anticipation. Jung Man Scott, the 2-1 favorite, got up for second by a nose over a slow-starting Paddy O'Prado.

Under Kent Desormeaux, Interactif settled into third position behind Mississippi Hippie and Red Rally. Interactif made a three-wide sweep around the far turn, took a clear lead turning for home and widened his advantage from there under a busy Desormeaux.

Interactif ($33.60), a son of Broken Vow owned by brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.41.

"He wasn't getting much respect on the board, but I told Kent I thought this horse had worked exceptionally well [and] to ride him with confidence,'' Pletcher said. "I thought he had a big kick. It's nice when they produce it the way you hoped they would. I wouldn't say it's a surprise but I was surprised how authoritative he was.''

Cannonball heads Commentator

Cannonball takes a significant class drop from the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot to the $70,000 Commentator Stakes for New York-breds at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on Sunday. The Commentator honors the recently retired 8-year-old gelding who never raced on turf and is best known for winning the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap twice.

Cannonball actually ran twice in five days at Royal Ascot as he also finished sixth in the Kings Stand Stakes.

Ramon Dominguez will ride Cannonball from post 9 in the 10-horse field.

Trainer Linda Rice has a four-horse uncoupled entry of Mohegan Sky, Ahvee's Destiny, Meriwhether Jessica, and Karakorum Elektra in the field. But owner Michael Dubb may have the two horses to beat in the coupled entry of Silver Timber and Redefined.

Commentator will lead the post parade for this race and will be the recipient of an edible key to the city of Saratoga before heading off to owner Tracey Farmer's Shadowlawn Farm for his retirement.