08/07/2012 1:34PM

Saratoga: I Bet Toni Knows happy to be outside in New York Stallion Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
I Bet Toni Knows will start from post 10 in Thursday’s Statue of Liberty Division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – An outside post going a mile on Saratoga’s inner turf course may not be desirable for most trainers, but when I Bet Toni Knows was assigned post 10 for Thursday’s Statue of Liberty Division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Saratoga, trainer Eric Reed was quite pleased.

Reed said that I Bet Toni Knows is “funny when she’s inside of horses.”

She shouldn’t have to worry about being inside of horses in this one-mile stakes restricted to progeny of New York-based stallions.

“We were very happy to get an outside post,” Reed said. “She can tuck into the four path by the middle of the first turn. After that, it’ll be up to Junior and the filly.”

Reed is referring to Junior Alvarado, who in addition to having a fabulous meet – he’s won five stakes in 16 days – is 3 for 4 aboard I Bet Toni Knows. Alvarado was aboard I Bet Toni Knows when she won a division of the Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park going seven furlongs on turf June 3. In that race, I Bet Toni Knows defeated six of the fillies that are entered back in here.

“Junior knows the filly real good,” Reed said. “She has a couple of vices, and he seems to get along with her better than anybody else. He seems to know the right time to pull her to the outside.”

I Bet Toni Knows is the only multiple winner in this 10-horse field. The biggest question handicappers may have is her ability to get the mile distance. She is 0 for 3 at a mile or beyond.

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“The distance looks suspect on form, but the last race was seven-eighths, and she didn’t really get going until the wire,” Reed said. “I don’t think the mile is going to be a problem. The more time we give her the better, and in some of those mile races we were running her back on relatively short rest.”

Manero is the only filly in the race to have won at a mile, defeating open-company maidens at Gulfstream in January. She was third to I Bet Toni Knows in that June 3 race, blowing a two-length lead after setting a solid pace.

She may find other early speed types in this spot, raising the question of whether she can be rated by Jose Lezcano.

“To a degree,” trainer Phil Serpe said. “You can end up rating the run out of those horses when you do that, so you got to give and take a little bit. I think she’s going to run well. She seems to be doing well up here.”

My Jopia has not run since winning a statebred allowance sprint at Belmont on April 29. Ramon Dominguez rides for Dominick Schettino.