11/24/2010 10:03AM

Saratoga Boot ready to show his best in All American


Trainer Tim McCanna has past history on his side to explain his confidence in Saratoga Boot going into Friday’s Grade 3, $100,000 All American at Golden Gate Fields.

Saratoga Boot – one of two 3-year-olds in the field of eight in the 1 1/8-mile Tapeta race – is the only runner in the field with a victory at the distance.

Even his fifth-place finish behind three of Friday’s rivals in his Golden Gate Fields debut on Oct. 23 could be seen as a plus going into the race. Before winning the 1 1/8-mile Emerald Derby at Emerald Downs this summer, Saratoga Boot ran third in the Seattle Slew. But he beat both of those runners in the Derby.

“It’s very similar to before,” McCanna said.

Saratoga Boot can logically be expected to improve off that Oct. 23 allowance race. After winning the Emerald Derby, Saratoga Boot suffered a foot abscess that sidelined him nine weeks and caused him to miss the British Columbia Derby before his return in the allowance race. The foot is now healed completely, and he has five-, six- and seven-furlong works since that start. The seven-furlong 1:25.30 work particularly impressed McCanna, with Saratoga Boot going the final eighth in 12 seconds.

“He’s coming into this race better.” McCanna said. “The problem with his foot, everything’s cleared up. He’d missed a couple works before that last race.”

McCanna isn’t saying that Saratoga Boot could have caught wire-to-wire winner Our Nautique Oct. 23 or the second- and third-place finishers, Massone or Hot Chaco, all three of whom are also running in the All American. But Saratoga Boot didn’t have the best of trips in the prep.

“He kinda turned his head in the gate and broke a step slow,” said McCanna.

The field also includes Interpatation, a Grade 1 turf winner in 2009, who has been sent west and will make his debut on a synthetic surface; Cigar Man, who ran second in the San Quentin last year in his lone start here last year; and Autism Awareness, who has scored upsets in graded stakes in each of the past two years.

Saratoga Boot and Slew the Man, fourth in the Emerald Derby and second against older in the 1 1/8-mile Bull Dog at Fresno in his last start Oct. 17, both get in at 120 pounds. Older runners carry 123.

The sharp Our Nautique has won two straight and would have a four-race win streak had he not lost by a neck to Hot Chaco on the turf. He’ll be the one to catch, but the two 3-year-olds, Saratoga Boot and Slew the Man, have shown speed and could provide some pressure Friday.