08/02/2011 5:38PM

Saratoga: Hamazing Destiny to run in Vanderbilt

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Tom Keyser
Hamazing Destiny, with Robby Albarado up, is a strong second in the James Marvin.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - D. Wayne Lukas, a six-time leading trainer at Saratoga, is off to a 0-for-23 start at this year’s meet. The horse who may have run the best for him thus far is Hamazing Destiny, who came off an eight-month layoff to run second behind Jackson Bend in the James Marvin Stakes on opening day.

Lukas plans to run Hamazing Destiny back in 16 days in Sunday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. Lukas said he prefers to run the 5-year-old horse at six furlongs than to wait for the Grade 1 Forego, which, like the James Marvin, is run at seven furlongs. The James Marvin was Hamazing Destiny’s first start since he finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“I wish it was more than [16] days, on the other hand he’s fresh,” Lukas said. “I feel comfortable when a horse has had that long a layoff. He definitely needed that tightener the other day.”

The Vanderbilt will be a tough spot, with likes of Trappe Shot, Atta Boy Roy, Bank Merger, Gayego, Apriority, and Noble’s Promise expected to run.

Lukas won the Oaklawn Park trainers title with 27 wins, but went just 5 for 74 at Churchill before coming to Saratoga.

“Our meet was so strong over the winter and spring, we’re probably paying a little bit for that now,” Lukas said.