08/05/2010 3:58PM

Dutrow's stars get to work at Saratoga

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rail Trip, with exercise rider Michelle Nevin up, works five furlongs Thursday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Exactly 51 years to the day since The Babe was a baby, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. celebrated his birthday by sending out four stars from his barn, including new arrival Rail Trip, for workouts Thursday morning at Saratoga.

Rail Trip’s work, his first since his shocking move to Dutrow following last month’s Hollywood Gold Cup, was the most keenly anticipated of the four, but the sprinter D’ Funnybone, older horse I Want Revenge, and 2-year-old Boys At Tosconova all had important drills for upcoming races.

All four came onto the main track shortly after the renovation break and completed their drills within minutes of one another. I Want Revenge, keenly eager to do something under exercise rider Mario Madrid, broke off first and worked six furlongs in 1:14.45.

Rail Trip, with exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard, went off next and went through an easy five furlongs in 1:04.65, a time that ranked 23rd of the 27 at the distance. He was going so slowly that D’ Funnybone, who broke off well behind him under jockey Edgar Prado, closed to within a couple lengths of Rail Trip by the time he completed his six-furlong work in 1:14.88.

Boys At Tosconova was the last to work and he went five furlongs in 1:02.77 under jockey Ramon Dominguez.

Dutrow said Rail Trip will do something more extensive next week. On Thursday, he just wanted Nevin to go for an easy test drive.

“It was his first breeze since his last race, his first breeze for us,” said Dutrow, who took over as Rail Trip’s trainer after co-owner Mace Siegel removed him from the care of trainer Ron Ellis in California. “Michelle liked the way he felt. Next time, he’ll do more. We’ll start getting him into a zone.”

Dutrow said possible races for Rail Trip are the Iselin at Monmouth on Aug. 21, the Woodward at Saratoga on Sept. 4, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 2.

The Iselin is the least likely, in part because that is the next intended spot for I Want Revenge, who returned from a lengthy layoff to finish third in last month’s Suburban in his first start for Dutrow.

“Right now, we’re very happy with him,” Dutrow said. “We’ve been happy with him since we first started with him. He’s never had a bad day since he’s come to the stable. He trained good going into his last race, and he’s trained good since. It figures that that race will help him. We’re giving him plenty of time to get over that race, all by design.”

D’ Funnybone, upset as the heavy favorite in the Carry Back at Calder in his last start, is being pointed to the King’s Bishop on Aug. 28 on the Travers undercard.

“He looked like his old self,” Dutrow said. “He’s done better since he’s come here.”

Boys At Tosconova was transferred via private purchase to Dutrow following his debut at Churchill Downs, then crushed maidens at Belmont Park when making his first start for Dutrow.

“He’s super,” Dutrow said. “Ramon was thrilled with him, and so are we. He’ll have two months between starts. If he runs well, he’ll have two months to the Breeders’ Cup. I don’t want to run him six or seven times as a baby. I’m not looking to gut him out as a baby. I’m not in a hurry. I want to have a good one for next year.”

Brown off to torrid start at meet

After going 3 for 3 on Wednesday’s card, trainer Chad Brown was atop the trainer standings here with a record of 9 wins from 18 starters. He led Todd Pletcher by one win entering Thursday’s program, though Pletcher overtook him by winning both 2-year-old races on the card with Skylord and Maple Forest.

Brown said he feels fortunate to have gotten off to such a hot start.

“You figure on getting more bad trips or bad weather or whatever along the way,” Brown said. “A lot of the races are going here. The other times of the year, when there are not as many horses on this circuit, you get switched up in your training. It’s a little easier when the races are going. Everything’s going pretty smooth right now.”

Brown has three horses entered for Saturday, including Payout, a maiden 3-year-old New York-bred making his first start on turf after finishing third in his dirt debut last year.

“I’m not sure what to think about that move,” Brown said. “The dirt race didn’t go, and the horse is training good.”

In the sixth, Brown sends out the first-time starter Tiz Blessed, a son of Tiznow making his first start going 6 1/2 furlongs.

“He looks like a horse that’s going to benefit as we stretch him out,” Brown said. “That’s not to say he couldn’t show up the first time. He’s a leggy, athletic horse that seems to get better the further he goes.”

Brown’s other entrant is African Diamond, entered as a main-track only in a turf race.

Brown doesn’t believe he’ll start enough horses to give Pletcher a battle for the trainer’s title.

“I’m going to enter in the spots that I planned on running in regardless, I’m not going to go crazy,” Brown said. “I think we’ve got some other live horses coming up; maybe not as plentiful as the beginning of the meet. To make a dent on Todd, you’re going to have to have some repeat winners, which is always hard to do here.”

Majesticperfection gets Grade 1 shot

Majesticperfection, coming off a track-record-setting performance in the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows, moves into graded stakes company for the first time in Sunday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs.

Majesticperfection, a son of Harlan’s Holiday, won the Iowa Sprint by 4 3/4 lengths, running six furlongs in 1:07.24 and earning a 117 Beyer Speed Figure. It is the highest figure earned this year in races run under one mile.

“Prairie Meadows was yielding fast times, but 1:07-and-one downhill would be fast,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He definitely deserves this opportunity, and it is an outstanding race.”

Majesticperfection will break for post 5 under Shaun Bridgmohan.

The competition includes the Grade 1 winner Gayego; Big Drama and Mambo Meister, the one-two finishers from the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 10; Bribon, winner of the True North on June 5, Smokey Fire, who makes his dirt debut after racing on turf and synthetic surfaces at Woodbine; and Temecula Creek, who is 4 for 4 since being claimed by Rudy Rodriguez.

Secret Gypsy, who won the Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows the same night Majesticperfection won, returns to Saratoga for Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap for fillies and mares going six furlongs.

Secret Gypsy is 2 for 2 on the dirt at Saratoga, including a maiden win in her debut here as a 2-year-old and a first-level allowance victory at 3.

Others entered in the Honorable Miss include Hour Glass, Pretty Prolific, Warbling, and One Smokin’ Lady.

Expensive yearling debuts at 3

Do It All, a $900,000 purchase as a yearling, makes his debut at age 3 in Saturday’s fourth race following a series of encouraging works for trainer Eoin Harty. He was scheduled to race the first weekend of the meet but was bedeviled by the New York Racing Association’s rules regarding superfectas.

“Darley had another horse in the race, and they can’t run a superfecta with a coupled entry,” Harty said. “It was the last race of the day, so we scratched. That was at six furlongs. Now he’s got to go seven. He had the outside the other day. Now, he’s drawn inside. But he’s shown plenty of promise.”

Do It All, a son of Distorted Humor, was purchased here at Saratoga two summers ago.

– additional reporting by David Grening