08/17/2010 11:36AM

Gleaves weighs options for Mambo Meister

Barbara D. Livingston
Mambo Meister, being led by trainer Phil Gleaves in the Saratoga paddock, could make his next start in either the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga on Sept. 4 or the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile the following weekend.

MIAMI – Trainer Phil Gleaves will return home to south Florida this week, but stable star Mambo Meister will remain at Saratoga while his connections map out plans for the multiple graded stakes winner’s next start.

Mambo Meister is coming off a sixth-place finish behind division leader Majesticperfection in the A.G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga, a race Gleaves says he is just putting a line through, considering the circumstances.

“A series of events after the start led to Mambo Meister being a lot closer to the pace than he wants to be, especially in a sprint,” Gleaves said. “And as a result, he just didn’t run his race. So I’m just going to toss that one out and move on from there.”

Mambo Meister was bumped by Temecula Creek and then brushed by Gayego immediately after the start of the Vanderbilt. He rushed up the inside upon recovering to race just behind the early leaders but had nothing left once settling into the stretch, checking home 13 lengths behind the winner in his second Grade 1 start of the year. Mambo Meister also was a distant fourth behind Quality Road in the Grade 1 Donn.

Prior to leaving New York, Gleaves sent Mambo Meister out to breeze an easy half-mile in 52.58 seconds at Saratoga on Tuesday, his first work since the Vanderbilt.

“I just wanted to give him a slow and easy maintenance work to let him settle down a little after what happened in his last race,” Gleaves said.

Gleaves said he is entertaining two likely options for Mambo Meister’s next start, either the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga on Sept. 4 or the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile the following weekend.

“At the moment, we’re not sure which option we’ll take,” Gleaves said. “The racing office has told me the Forego is likely to come up a short field, although it’s going to be a tough one with Vineyard Haven heading there and probably a couple of horses from out of the Vanderbilt as well.”

If Mambo Meister goes to Presque Isle, it would be only the second time he’s raced over a synthetic surface. His first experience resulted in an encouraging fifth-place finish at Santa Anita in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Nominations for Juvenile Showcase

Nominations have been released for the four stakes that make up the undercard on the Aug. 28 Juvenile Showcase. The entire program that day will consist of 2-year-old races, highlighted by the middle legs of the Florida Stallion series – the seven-furlong Affirmed and Susan’s Girl stakes.

All four undercard races were well received, although many horses were cross-nominated in more than one event and several also are eligible for the Stallion Stakes. The Seacliff on the main track and the Catcharisingstar on turf for fillies lured 21 nominations apiece, the five-furlong Fasig Tipton Turf Dash drew 20, while the Lindsay Frolic attracted nominations from 14 2-year-old fillies.

Both the Seacliff and Lindsay Frolic are carded at a mile and will be the first two-turn races for juveniles to be decided here this summer.

The turf course was open for business on Monday morning, and several of the Juvenile Showcase nominees took advantage of the opportunity to work on the grass. Among them were the Wesley Ward-trained pair of A Royal Sweet and No More Yogis, who went a half-mile over the yielding surface in 48.80 seconds and 49, respectively. Put It On a Jet also breezed an easy three-eighths over the grass in 37 seconds for a possible start in the Catcharisingstar.

◗ Luis Saez will enter the week with a 94-90 advantage over Manoel Cruz in the see-saw battle for leading rider honors at the meet. Steve Dwoskin topped the trainer standings with 22 victories entering Thursday’s card, four more than his closest pursuer Bill White and five better than David Fawkes.