Updated on 07/21/2013 12:42AM

Saratoga: Authenticity, Eblouissante to meet in Shuvee

Barbara D. Livingston
Authenticity will avoid having to travel six hours by van in hot, humid weather and a meeting with Royal Delta in the Delaware Handicap by staying put at Saratoga for the Shuvee.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Authenticity will be given another opportunity to win a Grade 1, but it won’t be this weekend.

After giving himself the choice of running Saturday in either the Grade 1, $750,000 Delaware Handicap or the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga, trainer Todd Pletcher chose the latter in part because Authenticity figures to be a pretty strong favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Shuvee.

In the end, Pletcher said the “extreme heat” that has plagued the Northeast convinced him to keep the 6-year-old Authenticity at Saratoga rather than put her on a van for a six-hour ride to face champion Royal Delta in the Delaware Handicap. Also, a start in the Shuvee gives Authenticity a race over the track as a prep for the Grade 1 Personal Ensign here Aug. 25.

“It’s more about the conditions and probably being the favorite here versus being second choice there,” Pletcher said. “Maybe by having a race over the track, it’ll set her up well for the Personal Ensign.”

Away from the races for 18 months, Authenticity has two wins and two seconds from five starts this year. She was a front-running winner of the Grade 2 La Troienne at Churchill Downs on May 3 before getting run down in the stretch by Tiz Miz Sue in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont on May 27.

“It was a big effort; thought for a moment she was going to get that big Grade 1 win,” said Pletcher, who trains Authenticity for Padua Stables. “Tiz Miz Sue has been a tough filly to beat over the years. We were really pleased with the way Authenticity ran.”

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Authenticity will break from the outside post in what was originally a seven-horse field. However, Summer Applause will scratch to run in the Delaware Handicap.

Eblouissante, the undefeated half-sister to champion Zenyatta, was cross-entered in a second-level allowance race on Monday that did not fill, but trainer John Shirreffs said Friday that he had pretty much decided to run her in the Shuvee anyway.

“We’ve kind of pointed to it,” Shirreffs said. “It’s hard to change direction when you’re pointing for a race.”

Eblouissante has not run since January, when she won a first-level allowance race at Santa Anita. She missed the Santa Margarita at Santa Anita in March because Shirreffs wasn’t happy with how she had trained leading up to it.

After she shipped to New York from California in April, Eblouissante was dehydrated, which forced her to miss some training time and subsequently the Ogden Phipps.

“She’s really matured a lot; she’s really developed in the sense of her shoulder and her girth,” Shirreffs said when asked how Eblouissante looks now compared to January. “She’s put on probably 50 pounds. She’s a stronger, larger horse than she was back then.”

Flashy American, trained by Ken McPeek, has won two straight races, including the Iowa Distaff on June 28. She has won her last four races contested around two turns, including an off-the-turf race at 1 1/8 miles here last July, albeit for a maiden-claiming price of $25,000.

Joel Rosario rides Flashy American from post 2.

Sea Island, trained by Shug McGaughey, also owns a win over this track, that coming in a second-level allowance race last July. She has not won since, though she finished second in the then-Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct last November. She is coming out of a last-place finish in the Mariensky Stakes at Belmont, a race run over a sloppy track.

“I don’t have the answer for her race in the slop,” McGaughey said. “She’s trained excellent since. Whether she’s that kind or not we’ll have to wait and see. She has run good over this track.”

Royal Lahaina has won four of her last five starts, including the Mariensky. Jose Ortiz rides for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

Moon Philly, who had finished first or second in seven straight starts from last September to February, is coming off two subpar performances in the Allaire DuPont Distaff at Pimlico and the Lighthouse Stakes at Monmouth.

The Shuvee goes as race 9 on an 11-race card that also includes the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
DRF, please stop with the pop-ups. They are obnoxious and I feel like Im on an all natural male extender web site.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
The mount says alot for Junior... Safe trips to all.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Authenticity is deserving favorite will take a super effort to beat
John More than 1 year ago
Sounds like California, if we get FIVE, its "whooo whooo whooo "
Flint King More than 1 year ago
5 horses for a 750000 purse and a grade 1. Wow sad
Joseph Bartelli More than 1 year ago
Probably going to be 4 horses if Summer Applause goes in the Shuvee as well.
Alex Martinez More than 1 year ago
But that's horse racing. Do owners really want to go up against the 2 time defending Eclipse Award winner or try to win a different race against easier competition? It's not like other sports where you are forced to face one another. Secretariat only faced 4 in the Belmont Stakes in 1973. Small horse fields happened back then and they still happen now.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Dont just downgrade Secretariats Belmont. Look at the path to the TC for ALL of the winners. It is absurd. That is the reason I get mad when people said "if I'll Have Another wins the TC, he will not be one of the greatest". By what judging system?! He is running in races with FULL fields. OF COURSE he would be among the greats had he pulled as will any horse that accomplishes it going forward.
Kathy Etling More than 1 year ago
I agree; he most certainly would have been considered one of the greats. Too bad, too. But would'a, could'a, should'a doesn't win TCs, unfortunately.
Alex Martinez More than 1 year ago
I wasn't downgrading Secretariat's Belmont what so ever. What I was trying to point out is that it's easy to get wrapped up by how small the fields are when in fact this is just normal in horse racing, back then and even now. I've seen some of the best races have small fields: Secretariat's Belmont (obviously, winning by 31 lengths is such an amazing feat), the Pacific Classic when Candy Ride and Medaglia d'Oro faced off (only a 4 horse field) and even a couple years ago between Blind Luck and Havre de Grace in the Delaware Handicap.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
unfortunately flint, this has become the norm.this no longer is the exception.i have been saying for the longest.reduce the purses and spread the money around to other races.you will see how fast these guys start running. todays' racing is an owners dream if you have a serious race horse. you can pick and chose your 5 horse field of choice.rack up the purses.then take your breeders cup shot. do not need to over race them and tire them out.