08/01/2007 11:00PM

Orseno hopes Reata's Shadow can make a run


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Joe Orseno has realistic expectations for Reata's Shadow in the Haskell.

The 50-1 outsider on track handicapper Brad Thomas's morning line, Reata's Shadow most recently won a second-level allowance race here. He now steps up to face proven Triple Crown colts like Curlin and Hard Spun.

The old cliche advises that "pace makes the race," and this Haskell attracted several horses - Hard Spun, Cable Boy, and Stormello - who are very comfortable setting fast fractions.

Reata's Shadow is a closer. Orseno hopes to counter-punch if some of the pace factors falter.

"With our style of running, we'll be making a run at the end," Orseno said. "Just to be in the game with Curlin, Hard Spun, and Any Given Saturday is a thrill. Having a chance to run is better than just watching. I do believe that my horse's style might let him get a big piece of it."

Being based at Monmouth made the decision easier. Reata's Shadow and Cable Boy are the local hopefuls.

Orseno wants to give Reata's Shadow as much distance as possible. That's the reason Reata's Shadow skipped the Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on July 14, Monmouth's traditional Haskell prep. Instead he won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race here on July 19.

"I can't wait to run him a mile and a quarter, because he becomes a good horse at that distance," Orseno said. "In shorter races, they get away from him early."

Joe Bravo, the meet's leading rider, will be aboard.

Three lessons for Any Given Saturday

Any Given Saturday will be well schooled heading into the Haskell.

The winner of the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park, Any Given Saturday will have had three straight days - Wednesday through Friday - of late-morning paddock schooling.

Any Given Saturday had trained at Belmont before joining trainer Todd Pletcher's Monmouth division on Tuesday.

"He sent him for the schooling," said Pletcher's assistant Anthony Sciametta. "He didn't send him here because he needed to train over the track."

It is the same pattern Pletcher followed before the Dwyer, in which Any Given Saturday earned a career-best 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

"It's a precautionary measure because they did it three days in a row before the last race and it helped," Sciametta said. "Todd doesn't like to change a plan that is working. We put the tack on and walk him over. I don't know if he's so much bothered by crowds. Every once in a while he'll get a little bit rambunctious when you try to saddle him."

Dattts Awesome likes local turf

Dattts Awesome has turned in two sparkling efforts since arriving at Monmouth Park this summer. She rallied to a pair of wins on the turf, posting career-best Beyer Speed Figures of 81 and 82.

Given her fine form, Dattts Awesome will be one of the top contenders Saturday in her stakes debut, the $60,000 Staybridge Suites of Eatontown Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

"She's doing awfully good," said Rob Rader, an assistant to trainer Mark Hennig. "We need to try this spot, seeing how much she likes this turf course."

Dattts Awesome was winless in her prior six races before discovering Monmouth.

"She's making strong moves around the turn," Rader said. "She never did that before."

Pablo Fragoso, aboard for the two victories, has the return call.

Bravo gets the call on Tanguista, who makes her U.S. debut for trainer Christophe Clement. She compiled a record of 2-0-2 in 6 races in France and will make her first start on Lasix.

Pletcher has two uncoupled horses in the race: Glacken's Mark and My Golden Quest.