08/23/2010 3:40PM

Rail Trip likely out of Woodward

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rail Trip has had his training interrupted by an injury and poor weather.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Although Rail Trip has resumed training following a minor foot issue, he most likely won’t make the $750,000 Woodward Stakes here on Sept. 4, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Monday.

“I don’t see the Woodward, but miracles do happen,” said Dutrow, who said he is really targeting the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 2 for Rail Trip.

Rail Trip, who came into Dutrow’s Saratoga barn in mid-July, suffered a minor setback last week when he stepped on a rock with his right hind foot. Rail Trip did get back to training late in the week, but was limited to jogging Sunday and Monday because of the wet tracks.

Dutrow said that Rail Trip has a foot issue or two, “which a lot of horses get up here. He’s a half-inch from being on top of his game. We’ll wait it out and do what’s best for him. He’s very close – he’s not there.}

Dutrow said his immediate goal with Rail Trip is to get him training consistently well.

“I’m looking to go for the gut as soon as he’s gutable,” Dutrow said.

Dutrow said he is indecisive on what to next with Acting Happy, who finished third behind Blind Luck and Havre de Grace in Saturday’s Alabama. Dutrow said he may try to train the filly in blinkers to see if that moves her up a little bit.

“I feel like we can help this filly a bit,” Dutrow said. “It’s not looking like she’s in a complete groove. Maybe she doesn’t like being on the inside, she might need blinkers.”

Dutrow is not keen on the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park because it’s 1 1/16 miles, and he would like to run her longer than that.

Blind Luck, Havre de Grace and Devil May Care – the first, second and fourth-place finishers from the Alabama – are all under consideration for the Cotillion.

Just As Well out with cuts

Just As Well, who finished sixth in Saturday’s Arlington Million, will be sidelined indefinitely trainer Jonathan Sheppard reported on Monday.

“He came out of the race with two nasty slices about two or three inches deep on his tendons just below the hocks,” said Sheppard. “The injuries are reasonably serious, and he’s quite uncomfortable at the moment.”

Sheppard said Just As Well, runner-up behind Gio Ponti in the 2009 Million, was shipped to Presque Isle Downs after the race.

Just As Well raced in perfect striking position about a half-dozen lengths off the pace under jockey Julien Leparoux, was caught between horses while attempting to rally at the head of the stretch, then could not sustain his run through the final furlong of the 1 1/4-mile Million. He ultimately finished eight lengths behind the late-surging winner, Debussy.

“I’m not exactly sure at what point of the race the injury occurred, but it’s my guess it probably happened when the field bunched and he was caught between horses at the head of the stretch,” said Sheppard. “I’m not saying the injury caused him to finish where he did or what happened was deliberate, but I do get annoyed at how rough the European riders can get when they come over to the U.S. They know they can get away with things here that they’d be set down 10 days for over there.”

Sheppard was out early on Monday morning to work Divine Fortune a slow mile shortly after the Oklahoma training track opened at 5:30 a.m. Divine Fortune will be favored along with stablemate Sermon of Love in Thursday’s Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase Handicap. Divine Fortune is coming off a game three-quater-length victory over another Sheppard trainee, Aracdius, in the Grade 2 A P Smithwick Memorial earlier in the meet. Arcadius is also among the nine horses entered in the Turf Writers Cup.

“I had planned to work him on the turf this morning but with the course closed due to the weather I had to send him out on the dirt instead,” said Sheppard.

Sheppard also said Arcadius’ status for the NYTWC remained “iffy” at the present time.

“He schooled over the jumps on the farm on Friday and came back a little ouchy and I’m not certain if he’s going to make it to the race,” said Sheppard.

Yawkey Way facing only four

Chad Brown, currently third in the trainer’s standings behind only Todd Pletcher and Linda Rice, will send out the odds-on favorite Yawkey Way against only four rivals in Wednesday’s $70,000 Ann Clare, a six-furlong overnight stakes for New York bred 2-year-old fillies. Yawkey Way, a daughter of Grand Slam, drew off to a 5 1/2-length victory making her career debut here on July 25.

“I’m thankful the race went,” said Brown. “I think she’s a nice filly and that she can be an open-caliber horse down the road. If she’s successful here we’ll gradually step her up in class and stretch her out in distance. She’s a leggy, light-framed filly who I believe is looking for a route of ground.”

Brown also said that Maram remains 50-50 at this point to start in Saturday’s Grade 2 Ballston Spa. Maram finished fifth, just a half-length behind Proviso, in the Grade 1 Diana on July 31.

“She ran awfully hard in the Diana and got a 6 on the sheets, and I don’t want her to react off that effort if I bring her back on short rest,” said Brown. “Right now she’s doing good, so I’m going to play it by ear, watch her close and just see what kind of feel I get on entry day.”

Entries for the Ballston Spa will be drawn on Wednesday.

Brown said he likely will run Quiet Meadow, runner-up in Monmouth’s Grade 3 Matchmaker earlier this month, in the Ballston Spa.

Family keeps winning

Pin Number became the latest foal out of the mare Treasure Always to win, taking his career debut by 2 1/2 lengths on Saturday. He ran six furlongs in 1:11.84 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 73.

Pin Number is by Langfuhr out of Treasure Always, making him a half-brother to Organizer and Dr. V’s Magic, winners of the Empire Classic in 2006 and ‘07 respectively.

“That mare’s been very good to us,” said Dominic Galluscio, who trains Pin Number and had those other horses for Digby Barrios’s Majesty Stud. “It’s amazing how a mare can throw nothing but winners. That just goes to show you that its horse racing it’s not jockey racing or trainer racing. If you have the horses it makes it a lot easier.”

Galluscio said that Pin Number will most likely run next in the $100,000 Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes on Sept. 6.

Trainer award named for Jerkens

The New York Racing Association will name the Saratoga trainer’s title after the Hall of Fame conditioner Allen Jerkens, a four-time leading trainer at this meet.

“Mr. Jerkens epitomizes the highest standards any horseman can aspire to and NYRA is extremely pleased to be able to name racing’s most prestigious training title after him,” said Hal Handel, the New York racing Association’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Jerkens won the Saratoga training title from 1971-73 and again in 1978.

Trainers who win the Saratoga meet will receive an engraved trophy.

Travers/Personal Ensign double offered

NYRA will offer a daily double wager linking Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes and Sunday’s $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes. The wager is a minimum $1 bet.

NYRA will also offer an all-stakes pick-four wager on Saturday culminating with the Travers with a guaranteed pool of $1 million.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch