07/25/2011 2:17PM

Saratoga: Friend or Foe scratched from Evan Shipman, will instead go to Whitney


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Friend or Foe was scratched out of the $75,000 Evan Shipman Stakes here Monday by trainer John Kimmel and will now be pointed for the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 6.

Kimmel made the decision to scratch Friend or Foe, who would have been a prohibitive favorite in the race restricted to New York breds, after heavy showers turned the main track from fast to sloppy following the running of Monday’s first race.

“It was an easy decision,” said Kimmel. “If we’re going to see how he handles a wet track for the first time it’s going to be for $750,000 not $75,000 in a meaningless race. It makes no sense to run him today and then beat yourself up if he comes back bad. He’s a really good horse who is in really good form right now and I saw no upside to running him under these conditions today.”

Kimmel said he originally chose the Evan Shipman over the Whitney to give Friend or Foe some added experience around two turns.

“We chose this race based on the fact he hadn’t yet won a two-turn race yet, although he didn’t run bad in his first attempt [Jim Dandy] and he got bumped out into the eighth path and his race was over after an eighth of a mile in the Travers,” said Kimmel. “I was thinking we’d get an easy two turn race into him today, let everybody else knock heads in the Whitney and then come back in the Woodward.”

Kimmel said he’ll likely give Friend or Foe, who has not started since winning the Easy Goer on June 5, one five-furlong work prior to the Whitney.

“He’s dead fit but I’ll probably let him go a maintenance five furlongs once the track dries out,” said Kimmel. “Hopefully we won’t have to wait until the weekend. Wednesday or Thursday would be ideal.”