09/01/2011 3:41PM

Personal Ensign: Pachattack may benefit from delay

Four-Footed Fotos
Pachattack might have benefited from a six-day postponement of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Though the cast remained the same for Saturday’s rescheduled Grade 1, $300,000 Personal Ensign Invitational at Saratoga, the chances of one of the players may have been enhanced by the six-day delay.

Pachattack, who has never raced on dirt and is the mystery horse of the six fillies and mares entered in the Personal Ensign, figures to benefit the most by the 1 1/4-mile race having been moved to Saturday following the cancellation of last Sunday’s card due to Tropical Storm Irene.

Had the race been run last weekend, Pachattack would have been running back just 15 days after finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Beverly D. on the turf at Arlington and most likely over a wet surface. With the delay, Pachattack has gotten additional time to acclimate to Saratoga’s dirt surface.

On Thursday, she worked three furlongs out of the gate in 35.94 seconds under jockey Rajiv Maragh, who will ride her Saturday.

“If the workout is any indication, she’s going to handle the dirt very, very well,” Maragh said. “She worked really nice over it, she just skipped right over it. If she doesn’t handle the surface, that’s going to be disappointing, because she trained so well over it.”

“She seemed to thrive since the weekend,” said Andrew Morris, assistant to trainer Gerard Butler. “She’s put on weight and she’s been moving great over the dry track. We’re very, very happy with her.”

Morris said he wasn’t that concerned about running Pachattack back in two weeks following the Beverly D., but added that the added six days certainly doesn’t hurt.

“She came out of the Beverly D. very well,” Morris said. “We wouldn’t have run her here, if she wasn’t fresh and well.”

While Pachattack has never raced on dirt, she has won at the Personal Ensign distance of 1 1/4 miles on turf in Great Britain and over a synthetic surface at Woodbine. Her sharp gate work may mean that Ask the Moon, who won the Ruffian Invitational on the lead, could have some company up front early.

Ask the Moon, a 6-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, won the Grade 1 Ruffian in gate-to-wire fashion in her first start after being claimed for $75,000 by Farnsworth Stables and turned over to trainer Marty Wolfson. Though based at Monmouth Park, Ask the Moon did get a workout over Saratoga’s main track earlier in the week after she was shipped here in advance of the storm that forced Sunday’s card to be scrapped. On Tuesday, she worked four furlongs in 47.76 while galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.98.

Javier Castellano rides Ask the Moon from post 2.

Super Espresso finished second to Ask the Moon in the Ruffian and will likely benefit should Pachattack and Ask the Moon duel. The additional furlong of the Personal Ensign is likely to play into Super Espresso’s favor as well. She breaks from post 5 under Ramon Dominguez.

Trainer Shug McGaughey, who has won this race four times, sends out Protesting off a 5 3/4-length second-level allowance win here July 27.

Tiz Miz Sue, disqualified from third to fourth in the Personal Ensign, and Acronym, second in an overnight stakes here Aug. 5, complete the field.

Personal Ensign Stakes 2011

Purse: $300,000; 1 1/4 miles; Grade 1





ML Odds



Bill Mott

Jose Lezcano



Ask the Moon

Marty Wolfson

Javier Castellano




Gerard Butler

Rajiv Maragh




Shug McGaughey

John Velazquez



Super Espresso

Todd Pletcher

Ramon Dominguez



Tiz Miz Sue

Steve Hobby

Joe Rocco Jr.


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