08/15/2012 3:50PM

Saratoga: Familiar foes Gitchee Goomie, Hessonite clash again in Yaddo

Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo
Gitchee Goomie beats Hessonite by a half-length in the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Gitchee Goomie and Hessonite will renew their rivalry when they top a field of seven New York-bred fillies and mares in Friday’s $150,000 Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga. Friday’s 10-race program has been dubbed “Fabulous Fillies” day with the entire card comprising races for fillies and mares.

Gitchee Goomie has finished in front of Hessonite in all three meetings this year, a streak that includes half-length victories in both the Mt. Vernon Stakes at Belmont Park and the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx. Hessonite won her only meeting against Gitchee Goomie in 2011 when she captured Belmont Park’s Ticonderoga.

Gitchee Goomie, a 5-year-old daughter of City Zip trained by Rick Violette, is a model of consistency, having finished first or second in 11 of her 12 starts over the past two seasons. The only time she finished out of the money during that span came in last year’s Grade 1 Flower Bowl.

Violette said he was briefly tempted to scratch Gitchee Goomie on Friday to await the Grade 2 Ballston Spa on Aug. 25.

“The Ballston Spa is coming up a real race, some nice fillies in it, so we’re 99 percent sure to stay in here,” said Violette. “These are two very good fillies, two very good New York-breds.”

Hessonite got an opportunity to duck her nemesis and win the Irish Linnet here earlier in the meet with Violette opting to pass that spot to await the Yaddo, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

“I just thought we’d had two hard races in May. It was very hot and humid and she tried to turn into a non-sweater on me a little bit,” Violette explained when asked why he skipped the Irish Linnet with Gitchee Goomie. “I just thought it was the right thing to do.”

Hessonite bounced back from her two tough setbacks at the hands of Gitchee Goomie with an easy 4 1/4-length decision in the one-mile Irish Linnet decided over a yielding course on July 27.

“They are two good fillies and mine’s in good form,” said David Donk, who trains Hessonite for William Punk Jr. and Phillip DiLeo. “Gitchee Goomie probably got a better trip last time, got through inside, and got a jump on me.”

Donk said he saw no problem bringing Hessonite back in the Irish Linnet.

“I see things differently than some people. Turf opportunities are limited and you have to take advantage of what’s available,” said Donk. “It was a good confidence builder for her. My rider [Ramon Dominguez] has a lot of confidence in her and I think whoever gets the best trip will win.”

Considerate and Mystic City, third and fourth in the Irish Linnet, will try their luck again in the Yaddo as will the Violette-trained Hot Splash along with 3-year-olds Elusive Rumour and Dreaming of Cara.