07/25/2010 4:59PM

Forego next for Vineyard Haven


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Vineyard Haven came out of his 1 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 James Marvin Stakes in good order and will now set his sights on the Grade 1 Forego here on Sept. 4.

Vineyard Haven, under Alan Garcia, went gate to wire, running seven furlongs in 1:22.30 and earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. Rick Mettee, assistant trainer for Godolphin Stable, said Vineyard Haven's effort was better than expected.

"He had a lot of long works but he wasn't working really as sharp as he was last year," Mettee said. "He had a pretty good foundation, but 45.03 for the half-mile, they can back up off that. Alan said he was never concerned."

Godolphin could have several horses in the Forego. Mettee said Gayego and Desert Party are likely to run in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt on Aug. 8. The Vanderbilt is the main prep for the Forego.

Le Mi Geaux to Spinaway

Le Mi Geaux, the 1 1/2-length winner of the Schuylerville, will most likely make her next start in the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sept. 5, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said.

"The timing is good for the Spinaway," Dutrow said. "I'm sure there's going to be much tougher horses showing up for that one. But she really hasn't done anything wrong. We were happy with her first race, and her next two races were very good."

Le Mi Geaux rallied down the middle of the sloppy stretch to overtake favored Stopspendingmaria. She ran six furlongs in 1:13.67 and earned a modest Beyer Speed Figure of 63.

"I feel like we got lucky to win the race, which was good enough for me," Dutrow said. "I'm not going to dissect it."

Stakes win gets Lenclud off to good start

Apprentice Freddie Lenclud could have spent the summer in Kentucky, where he would have likely been among the leading riders at Ellis Park. Instead, he and his agent, Doc Danner, opted to try their luck against the strongest jockey colony in the country at Saratoga.

And so far it seems their decision was a wise one, as Lenclud concluded his first day at the Spa by winning the Grade 3 Schuylerville aboard Le Mi Geaux for trainer Rick Dutrow.

"We could have gone to Ellis, and I'm sure I'd have won a lot of races, but the horses I'd have ridden wouldn't get me anywhere later this year when racing in Kentucky shifts back to Keeneland and Churchill Downs," Lenclud said. "So we decided to come here, try to pick up some business for down the road and also meet the New York trainers, since our plan is to spend next winter in Florida."

The fact Lenclud got to ride Le Mi Geaux in the Spinaway is a testament to his ability, as most trainers would not have ridden an apprentice in a stakes, since they can not claim a five-pound weight allowance.

"I was lucky enough to have broken that filly's maiden, and Mr. Dutrow decided to let me ride her back," said Lenclud. "I really have to thank him and the owners for giving me that opportunity, where in most cases others would have picked up a New York rider."

Winning a stakes as an apprentice is a relative rarity but not a new experience for Lenclud, who accomplished a similar feat this winter at Gulfstream Park aboard Bearpath in the Grade 2 Pan American Handicap.

Lenclud loses his apprentice allowance on Aug. 30.

Gio Ponti likely for Arlington Million

After scoring a repeat victory in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park earlier this month, dual Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti will likely seek a repeat in the Grade 1 Arlington Million on Aug. 21, trainer Christophe Clement said Saturday.

Both before and after the Man o' War, Clement indicated that the Arlington Million and the Pacific Classic, a $1 million race over Del Mar's synthetic surface on Aug. 28, were both possible. While Clement didn't completely rule out the Pacific Classic, he said the Million is the preferred race.

"The Arlington Million is the logical next step. it's first on the calendar, he's been there before and won it before," Clement said.

Clement said that since the Man o' War, Gio Ponti has simply been jogging at Belmont. He was scheduled to ship to Saratoga at the beginning of this week and begin to pick up his training.

Champagne d'Oro works for Test

Trainer Eric Guillot sent out his Grade 1 winner Champagne d'Oro to work an easy five furlongs in 1:04.20 over a sloppy track on Saturday. Champagne d'Oro, who is prepping for the Grade 1 Test, was one of only five horses to record a work over the wet main track.

"It was just a maintenance work," Guillot said. "She would have worked that slow even if the track was fast.

"I'll come back with a much faster work next weekend."

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch