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Discreetly Mine heads Amsterdam
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – What seemed to be shaping up as a relatively short field for Monday’s Grade 2 Amsterdam grew to 10 3-year-olds when entries were drawn for the 6 1/2-furlong dash Friday.
As expected, Discreetly Mine will top the lineup. Discreetly Mine has won the Grade 3 Jersey Shore and finished second in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens since his 13th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, and trainer Todd Pletcher is now focused on mapping out a sprint campaign for the homebred during the second half of the season.
“Sprinting might be his niche,” Pletcher said.
Discreetly Mine will break in the middle of the pack, from post 5, under John Velazquez in the Amsterdam.
The field for the Amsterdam is loaded with speed and includes the New York-bred General Maximus (Javier Castellano), who’ll race coupled as an entry with recent maiden winner Catalan (Pablo Fragoso), Canadian invader Essence Hit Man (Chantal Sutherland), and In Jack’s Memory (Miguel Mena).
Safe Trip (Jose Lezcano), third in the Jersey Shore, Latigo Shore (Calvin Borel), Backtrack (Julien Leparoux), and Rule by Night (Shaun Bridgmohan) complete the lineup.
D’ Funnybone, I Want Revenge work
Trainer Rick Dutrow sent out both D’ Funnybone and I Want Revenge to breeze five furlongs after the renovation break Friday in preparation for upcoming stakes engagements latest this month. Their respective works were a sharp study in contrast.
D’ Funnybone was the first of the two to go, zipping the distance in 1:00.05 and galloping out six panels in 1:13.86 while covering his final quarter-mile in 23.51 seconds. I Want Revenge, on the other hand, went off at a leisurely pace, posting splits of 25, 38, and 51 before completing five furlongs in 1:03.80.
“I thought both horses went good,” Dutrow said.
D’ Funnybone, upset at 1-9 in Calder’s Grade 2 Carry Back earlier this month, will return here in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop. I Want Revenge, who had been stabled at Aqueduct before shipping here four days earlier, will make his next start in Monmouth Park’s Grade 3 Iselin on Aug. 21.
Dutrow said he brought I Want Revenge to Saratoga since he plans to spend the majority of his time here over the next six weeks.
Lisa’s Booby Trap set for Loudonville
Owner-trainer Tim Snyder had planned on pitting his one-horse stable, the undefeated and as yet untested 3-year-old filly Lisa’s Booby Trap, against the Todd Pletcher machine and division leader Devil May Care here last week in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. But the track condition, not the competition, led Snyder to ultimately scratch his horse from the race.
Instead, Snyder has found a more suitable spot for Lisa’s Booby Trap’s local debut next Friday in the $70,000 Loudonville, a six-furlong overnight event carded for 3-year-old fillies that have never won a stakes.
Lisa’s Booby Trap, named for Snyder’s late wife Lisa who died from cancer in 2003, has won all three of her previous starts by a combined margin of nearly 37 lengths. Each of those wins have come over her home base at Finger Lakes. On Friday, Lisa’s Booby Trap got her first real feel for Saratoga’s main track, working five furlongs in 59.23 seconds with jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard.
“I have never run a horse at Saratoga before, so I just thought I’d put her in the first 3-year-old stakes I could find, which was the Coaching Club,” Snyder said. “I was pretty confident she’d be in front of those horses, although I’m not sure whether she’d have finished with them or not. It was a small field, and I was just hoping to get her stakes-placed but she hadn’t trained in a couple of days because of the mud. The track was real deep, and I was glad in the end I took her out.”
Snyder said that Desormeaux was impressed with his first experience with Lisa’s Booby Trap.
“I told Kent to be brutally honest with me when he got off her after the work, and he told me he really liked the way she worked,” Snyder said. “That when he asked, she had another gear.”
Hushion pair point to Test
The 3-year-old filly division is rich with talent here this summer. The group includes the Mike Hushion-trained pair of the undefeated Lovely Lil and Florida sensation Pica Slew, both of whom are being pointed to next Saturday’s Grade 1 Test.
Lovely Lil, a New York-bred daughter of Tiznow, has won her first two starts by an average margin of 7 1/2 lengths for Hushion’s long-time client Barry Schwartz. Pica Slew was recently transferred back to Hushion’s barn following her third straight win in Calder’s Grade 3 Azalea.
Pica Slew, a homebred owned by the Terra Di Sienna Stables, began her career at Woodbine and spent a short time with Hushion before opening her 3-year-old campaign at Calder with trainer Joe Calascibetta.
“I had her in my barn last year for about a month after she left Canada,” Hushion said. “And I told the owners she needed more time. Her first work here was just okay, I wanted to be very careful that she didn’t go 59 on us, knowing that if we needed to do a little more the second time it wouldn’t be a problem.”
Pica Slew, who worked a half mile in 49.80 earlier this week, is scheduled to have her final prep for the Test on Monday.
“It’s a little scary to have two top fillies like these for a race as prestigious as the Test,” Hushion said. “But it’s definitely the place you want to be.”
Noble’s Promise getting time off
Noble’s Promise, the Grade 1 winning 2-year-old who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, has some foot issues that prompted trainer Ken McPeek to send the colt to his farm in Lexington, Ky. for a break.
“He is tender in his feet,” McPeek said. “He has slight bruises on the toe of his foot. He needed a little R and R. He’s traveled a lot, run hard.”
In four starts this year, Noble’s Promise finished second in the Rebel – beaten a head by Lookin At Lucky – fifth in the Arkansas Derby, and fifth in the Kentucky Derby before traveling to England where he was fifth, beaten three lengths in the Grade 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
McPeek said Noble’s Promise was sent to the farm last week and would likely get 30 days on the farm before resuming training.
“I’d like to think that I could have him ready for the end of September, first of October,” McPeek said.
Jackson Bend back galloping
Jackson Bend, the third-place finisher in the Preakness, began galloping last week at Belmont Park, and trainer Nick ZIto is hopeful of getting the colt back to the races later this year.
Zito said Jackson Bend pulled something behind while finishing fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the Pegasus at Monmouth Park in June.
“We backed off him,” Zito said.
Asked if he felt Jackson Bend would run again this year, Zito said, “I don’t see why not. I don’t have a plan yet, obviously.”
Jackson Bend finished second to Eskendereya in both the Fountain of Youth and the Wood Memorial, before finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby.
– additional reporting by David Grening