07/22/2011 6:37PM

Saratoga: Georgie's Angel takes Schuylerville

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Tom Keyser
Georgie’s Angel (right), with John Velazquez up, wins the Schuylerville, with True Feelings second.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - At last year's Saratoga meet, trainer Todd Pletcher won 18 races for 2-year-olds, including two of the three graded stakes run for juvenile fillies.

On Friday's opening-day card of the 143rd Saratoga season, Pletcher picked up where he left off, sending out Georgie's Angel to a 1 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes at the steamy Spa. True Feelings rallied from well off the pace to get second by 5 3/4 lengths over Force de La Nature. Gypsy Robin, Alydarla, and Vukovar completed the order of finish.

It was the fourth win in the Schuylerville for Pletcher, who also took this race in 2002 with Freedom's Daughter, 2003 with Ashado, and 2006 with Cotton Blossom. He finished second in this race last year with Stopspendingmaria.

Georgie's Angel, named after New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, according to her connections, won for the second time in as many starts for owners Ronald Sheffer, Ronald Stocks, and Betsy Wells. The horse won her maiden on July Fourth, which was the late Steinbrenner's birthday.

Breaking from the outside post in the scratch-reduced field of six, Georgie's Angel, under John Velazquez, sat third, about six lengths off a wicked early pace established by Vukovar, who went a quarter in 21.38 seconds before being overtaken by Gypsy Robin after a half-mile in 44.71.

Velazquez had Georgie's Angel follow Gypsy Robin around the turn, and she collared the leader just inside the sixteenth pole. Georgie's Angel had more than enough to hold the late-running True Feelings at bay at the wire.

Georgie's Angel, a daughter of Bellamy Road, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.68 and returned $3.90 as the 4-5 favorite.

"We were very pleased with the filly's effort," said Pletcher, who has now won 19 juvenile stakes at Saratoga. "The race set up kind of like we thought it might on paper, and she ran a very professional race. She broke well, but we anticipated a little bit of speed inside of us, and best thing is when you have an outside post like that it gives you some options, and Johnny rode a perfect race."

Velazquez said his filly broke sharply but when he saw jockeys David Cohen, on Vukovar, and Jeffrey Sanchez on Gypsy Robin asking their horses for speed, he backed off.

"I said, I'm not for that," Velazquez said. "I'm on the outside, let me sit and wait for a bit and give her a chance the first part of the race, and hopefully I'll have something left to fight with down the lane."

Pletcher said Gypsy Robin would most likely be pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Sept. 4.