Updated on 09/15/2011 1:41PM

Red Bullet returns from long layoff in allowance race


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Three days after his younger stablemate Macho Uno returned to the races, 2000 Preakness winner Red Bullet is scheduled to make his seasonal debut Saturday in a classified allowance race at Saratoga.

The seven-furlong race marks the first start for Red Bullet since July 9, 2000, when he finished third in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes. Following that, Red Bullet suffered a variety of maladies, including sickness, a foot abscess, and a slight leg fracture that did not require surgery.

Red Bullet had nearly four months off before resuming training at owner Frank Stronach's Ocala, Fla., farm. Danny Vella, the trainer on the farm, put a strong foundation into Red Bullet before sending him and Macho Uno to trainer Joe Orseno at Belmont in mid-June. Red Bullet has had several strong workouts, including a bullet half-mile move in 46.46 seconds here on Tuesday. He galloped out five furlongs in 59.20 seconds.

"This is what our program has been waiting for, to get these two horses back to the races," Orseno said.

Orseno said the starting point has "got to be around now" if Red Bullet and Macho Uno are to make the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Orseno plans to use Saturday's race as a prep for the Grade 1 Woodward at Belmont on Sept. 8. That would be followed by the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 6 and the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 27.

While Orseno has been pleased with Red Bullet's training, he said he wouldn't be surprised if the horse needed this race. Jerry Bailey, who was aboard for the Preakness win, will ride again.

"I need a good first race back," Orseno said. "He is thicker than he was; he's filled out and muscled up. I'd like to see him finishing up in the end, picking up horses. If he wins, great, if he doesn't, it's his first race back."

The most serious challengers to Red Bullet figure to be Flaming West, Port Herman, and Fire Thunder.

Mucho options for Macho Uno

After a night to sleep on it, Orseno was feeling much better about Macho Uno's nose loss on Wednesday than he did just after the race.

Orseno reported that Macho Uno, last year's 2-year-old champion, came out of the race in good order. An endoscopic examination of his lungs was clean and he cooled out fine, according to Orseno.

"It was a very good race for him," Orseno said.

Orseno said he would put blinkers on Macho Uno for his next start, wherever that may be.

"We learned he needs blinkers," Orseno said. "He could've won by a nose and we'd know he'd need blinkers. We know what we've got to do with him. Nobody's lost any confidence in him, for sure. I still think he's the best 3-year-old in the country, and after we get another race into him we'll have to see who he has to run against to prove it."

While Orseno mentioned the Grade 1 King's Bishop on Aug. 25 as a possible next start for Macho Uno, he planned to discuss other options with owner Frank Stronach. Those options would include two-turn races such as the Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 3.

Mayakovsky pointed to Hopeful

Mayakovsky, who eclipsed a 54-year-old track record while winning his maiden at first asking on Wednesday, came out of his race in good order and will be pointed to the Grade 1 Hopeful, trainer Patrick Biancone said Thursday.

"We're leaning to the Hopeful," said Biancone, who noted he needed to talk to owner Michael Tabor first.

Biancone said Mayakovsky, a son of Matty G, was ready to run three weeks ago at Santa Anita, but he elected to wait until Saratoga. On Wednesday, Mayakovsky ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.32, breaking Tea Olive's mark of 1:03.40 set in 1946. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

Truman's Raider, the winner of the other division of the maiden race, came out of the race in good order, according to D. Wayne Lukas. He covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.68. Lukas said there are no definite plans for Truman's Raider, although he mentioned the Sapling at Monmouth as a possible next race.

* Touch Love, who remained undefeated with her victory in Wednesday's Schuylerville Stakes, will be pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway on Aug. 31, trainer Anthony Dutrow said, and won't run in the Aug. 13 Adirondack. "I think we're going to skip the Adirondack with her, let her rest a bit," Dutrow said.

* Despite bright sunshine and cooler temperatures on Thursday, overnight and morning rains made for a dreary card of racing. Two races were taken off the turf. Of the 92 horses entered, 27 were scratched. The scratches included two juveniles - Young Star and Shimmer Sea - who flipped in the paddock before the third race. Swing Again, who was coupled in the wagering with Young Star, was made to run for purse money only. He finished third.

* On Friday, Saratoga was to begin offering full-card wagering on Finger Lakes.

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