07/23/2010 2:27PM

Commonwealth Rush looks to build on debut in Sanford


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Tim Ice did pretty well with his only starter during the 2009 Saratoga meet, winning the prestigious Travers with Summer Bird. On Sunday, Ice will send out his first starter of the 2010 session when his undefeated Commonwealth Rush takes on seven other juveniles in the Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford Stakes.

“It’s nice to be back to run again at Saratoga with a colt who I think has a lot of talent,” Ice said. “Obviously, the Travers was a very special race for me and probably the highlight of a very good summer last year.”

Commonwealth Rush withstood a race-long pace duel that included an opening quarter-mile in 21.40 seconds before posting a game half-length decision when launching his career at Belmont Park on June 18.

“This colt hasn’t done anything wrong yet,” Ice said. “He ran a very fast first quarter-mile in that maiden race and for him to be game enough to still be on top at the wire showed a lot of courage and desire on his part. I’m very happy with his outside post, he should be able to rate, and we’ll find out a lot more about him on Sunday.”

Commonwealth Rush is one of three unbeaten 2-year-olds in the six-furlong Sanford, along with Bail Out the Cat and Another Silver Oak.

Bail Out the Cat also survived an early battle for the lead before edging away to a popular 2 1/4-length victory to win his debut over a muddy track last month at Belmont. The 85 Beyer Speed Figure he earned is the best of any member of the Sanford lineup.

Another Silver Oak likewise set a contested pace before pulling away to a 2 3/4-length triumph in his only previous start, which came at Delaware Park on June 15. Despite posting an easy victory in his debut, Another Silver Oak will have an equipment change and races with blinkers for the first time Sunday.

Lou Brissie is the only stakes winner in the field, having captured the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs before coming out second best behind the highly regarded Kantharos in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor.