Updated on 09/17/2011 11:02AM

Dream team of 1990's not the same


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - They were racing's equivalent of Mantle and Maris, Ruth and Gehrig, Drysdale and Koufax.

Throughout the 1990's no one dominated racing like Jerry Bailey and Bill Mott. And while Bailey will be aboard Del Mar Show for Mott in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap, it may be one of the few times those two Hall of Fame horsemen get together at this Saratoga meet.

With the death of Allen Paulson a few years ago, Mott does not get as many quality horses as he once did. That, combined with the arrival of Bobby Frankel from the West Coast three years ago, has caused Bailey to gravitate away from Mott.

"A lot of it is there was a lot of conflicts, and a lot of those were in stakes," said Bailey, who rides first-call for Frankel. "Billy needs somebody that can give him a firm commitment and in a lot of spots, and I wasn't able to do that. Therefore, I lost a lot of business.

"It's a difficult thing because we've had so much success together, but I've got to try and ride the best horse within reason and he's got to get the best rider within reason."

Mott has tabbed Mike Luzzi as his go-to rider, and the two enjoyed great success this summer at Belmont Park and elsewhere. One of the horses Luzzi has picked up is Patrol, whom he guided to victory in the Dallas Turf Cup and whom Luzzi will ride in Friday's Bernard Baruch.

"He rode some horses, and we happened to get lucky in a couple of spots, so as long as that continues we'll keep going," Mott said. "It's been difficult to get Bailey on a regular basis. He's either been out of town or riding some other horses in the same race. I guess that comes with success."

Mott has been the dominant trainer at Saratoga since 1992, winning eight titles in the last 11 years. Last year, he fell one win shy of Todd Pletcher. This year, however, Mott could struggle to contend for the title. He had only one horse entered on Wednesday - he finished sixth - and none on Thursday. Mott said some horses he was pointing to this meet have gotten injured.

On top of that the wet weather has canceled turf racing the first couple of days, and Mott has a barn full of turf horses.

Mott will still have some runners in stakes. Delta Princess could run in Saturday's Diana Handicap or wait for the Ballston Spa later in the meet. Ebony Breeze who has accounted for four of Mott's 15 stakes wins this year, could run next in the Ballerina.

Gygistar returns in Friday allowance

Gygistar, who won the Grade 1 King's Bishop over this track last August, will make his return to the races Friday in a $56,000 classified allowance race at six furlongs. It will be Gygistar's first start since finishing fifth in the Deputy Minister Handicap in February at Gulfstream Park.

A few weeks later, while training for the Dubai Golden Shaheen, he suffered a chip in his knee, which required surgery. Trainer Mark Hennig has targeted the Grade 1 Forego on Aug. 31 as his major target for the summer, and feels this allowance race is a better spot to prep in than the Vanderbilt Handicap on Aug. 10.

"The other race would have been too close to the Forego," Hennig said. "I didn't want to come right back in a stakes. He's been training great; I'm really pleased. Compared to how he trained in Florida, this is a true indication of the way he trained last year."

Gygistar, who will be ridden by Bailey, drew post 7 and will face four rivals in the third race. Maybry's Boy, a stakes winner at 3, and Captain Red, who set a track record for six furlongs over Aqueduct's inner track during the winter, are the major rivals.

Clement has contingency plan

Trainer Christophe Clement wants to run Vodoo Dancer in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Handicap here, but does not want to run her over a soft turf course. So, just in case it continues to rain in Saratoga, Clement had Voodoo Dancer tentatively booked on a Thursday flight to California, where she would run in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar.

"At the moment, she's running at Saratoga," said Clement, who is at Belmont Park. "If the weather is awful, I may change my mind."

If Clement does send Voodoo Dancer to California, he would then run Mariensky in the Diana. Mariensky won the Sheepshead Bay and Just a Game handicaps over soft ground at Belmont.

"Oh, the joy of being a turf trainer in New York," Clement said. "I'm 37 - I'm supposed to be 38 by the end of the year. I might be 59. It's taken its toll."

Voodoo Dancer just returned from California, where she won the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 28. She has raced seven times in California during her career.

Voodoo Dancer is the 120-pound highweight for the Diana. If she skips the race, then Heat Haze, Riskaverse, and Wonder Again will be co-highweights at 118 pounds. Snow Dance (117), Delta Princess (116), Owsley (116), Quick Tip (116), and Pertuisane (115) are also likely to run.

Trust N Luck fires Amsterdam bullet

Trust N Luck, who won the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth and finished second to Empire Maker in the Florida Derby, worked four furlongs in 48.27 seconds over a sloppy main track Wednesday. It was the fastest of 12 works at the distance.

Trust N Luck, unraced since finishing fourth in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April, is being pointed to the Amsterdam Stakes here on Aug. 2 as a possible prep for the Grade 1 King's Bishop on Aug. 23.

"That's what I'm looking at right now," said trainer Ralph Ziadie, who has a string of nine horses here. "I thought he worked pretty good. We didn't ask him for anything. He's probably a work away from that race."

Ziadie said the Trust N Luck came out of the Lexington with a few "internal problems,' and was given some time off to recover.

Wild and Wicked fires a bullet, too

Wild and Wicked, the undefeated winner of the Ohio Derby, drilled five furlongs in 59.47 seconds at Saratoga on Wednesday. It was the fastest of 10 works at the distance.

Trainer Ken McPeek said he still has not decided whether Wild and Wicked will run in the $500,000 Jim Dandy here or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Both races are on Aug. 3. McPeek has to decide whether to test his colt against Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide or Empire Maker.

"Which one would you be more fearful of? I don't know," McPeek said.

McPeek said he would work Wild and Wicked again next Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, the only definites for the Jim Dandy are Empire Maker, Strong Hope, and Nacheezmo. Sky Mesa, Mobil, Saint Liam, and During are listed as possible.

Take Charge Lady to Gardenia

Take Charge Lady, who finished second to Wild Spirit in Sunday's Delaware Handicap, will make her next start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park on Aug. 9, McPeek said.

"I don't think she wants anything to do right now with Wild Spirit, at least at a mile and a quarter anyway,' said McPeek, noting that his other option was the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap here on Aug. 22. "The options are somewhat limited."

Schwartz, Meyocks in fender bender

The New York Racing Association's chairman and chief executive officer, Barry Schwartz, and its chief operating officer, Terry Meyocks, were involved in a traffic accident Tuesday afternoon. Neither man was injured, though the front end of their automobile was badly damaged.

According to Meyocks, a Pepsi-Cola tractor-trailer smashed into the front end of the car, while the two vehicles were attempting to make turns.

"We changed from Pepsi to Coke four years ago," Meyocks said. "I guess there was a contract out on me."

* Brice Blanc, who is trying to make it on the Kentucky-Florida circuit, has moved his tack to Saratoga for the summer. Steve Bass will represent him.