08/02/2013 3:56PM

Saratoga: Jacobson already plotting a John Morrissey three-peat for Saginaw

Tom Keyser
Saginaw, ridden by Junior Alvarado, earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure for winning the John Morrissey for the second time on Thursday.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There may not be a short-term plan for the win-machine otherwise known as Saginaw. But there is a long-term plan.

“Right now, we plan to win the Morrissey next year,” trainer and part-owner David Jacobson said. “Not only next year, but the year after that.”

On Friday morning, Jacobson and his partners of Drawing Away Stable were still enjoying Thursday’s 1 3/4- length victory by Saginaw in the $100,000 John Morrissey, the second straight year in which he won the 6 1/2-furlong stakes for New York-breds.

“It’d be very hard to top this as the high point of the meet for me,” Jacobson said.

Saginaw was the beneficiary of a heads-up ride by Junior Alvarado, who kept race favorite Saratoga Snacks boxed in along the rail and got first jump on the pacesetting B Shanny.

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Saginaw covered the 6 1/2 furlongs over a sealed muddy track in 1:16.47 and earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure, the same number he earned in last year’s Morrissey.

The win was the fifth in as many starts this year for Saginaw, 21st in 40 career starts, and 14th in 17 starts since Jacobson and Drawing Away claimed him in March 2012. He has now earned $974,690

“I get butterflies every time I run a horse, a little more with Saginaw I guess,” Jacobson said. “We all know it’s not going to last forever, but he just keeps it alive.”

Ed Boden, the managing partner of Drawing Away, called Saginaw “a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

“It was awesome,” Boden added. “At the top of the stretch, with horses in his sights, that’s where you want to be.”

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Jacobson said that Saginaw came out of the race a little tired and with aches and pains normal for any horse. Jacobson said that he did not know where Saginaw would run next but it would be against New York-breds either here or at Belmont. One obvious fall goal is the $150,000 Hudson Stakes on Oct. 19 at Belmont.

Rydilluc sharp in Hall of Fame drill

Rydilluc gave trainer Gary Contessa every indication Friday morning that he is ready to bounce back from his disappointing effort in the Virginia Derby with a solid half-mile workout over the Oklahoma turf course.

Under regular rider Edgar Prado, Rydilluc went four furlongs in 47.88 seconds, getting his final quarter in slightly less than 23 seconds. He is preparing for next Friday’s Grade 2, $200,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes.

“He worked great. He went the last quarter in 22-and-4, poetry in motion,” Contessa said. “Edgar was just motionless on him and he was just skimming over the grass. God willing, we’re on for next Friday. It’s right where I want him to be.”

Rydilluc has won 4 of his 5 turf starts, including the Grade 3 Palm Beach and $460,000 Penn Mile. In the Virginia Derby, he caught a soft turf course and finished in a dead heat for eighth, beaten 11 1/2 lengths.

“I’m certain it was the soft turf in Virginia but it was important to see the real Rydilluc and he was definitely himself today,” Contessa said.

Others pointing to the Hall of Fame Stakes include Balance the Books, Chamois, North Slope, Notacatbutallama, and Reporting Star. Draw Two and Noble Tune are listed as possible.

Somali Lemonade may try Ballston Spa

Somali Lemonade put in a brisk half-mile workout in 47.66 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course Friday morning in preparation for a possible start in the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes here on Aug. 24.

Somali Lemonade, winner of the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx on July 2, started several lengths behind two stablemates and finished up about three in front under exercise rider Carol Fisher.

“We just wanted to give her something to run at a little bit,” trainer Michael Matz said. “We’ll either try the Ballston Spa or see who’s going out for the Beverly D. There aren’t too many races for fillies and mares right now.”

After winning her first two starts at age 2, Somali Lemonade lost 10 consecutive races before winning the Penny by one-half length over Miz Ida.

“It’s hard not know if she’s comeback better as a 4-year-old or if it was the soft ground,” Matz said.

Weaver continues Spa success

Since 2006, trainer George Weaver has averaged eight winners per meet at Saratoga, recording double-digit number of winners in three of the last four summers.

Once again, Weaver is enjoying success at Saratoga, winning with 5 of his first 11 starters here, including Lighthouse Bay in the Grade 1 Prioress, Weaver’s first North American Grade 1 win.

“We’re very happy. We’ve had great meets here every year,” Weaver said Friday. “We try to live up to years past. People kind of expect the horses to run good up here so there’s a little added pressure. If somebody had asked me I wouldn’t have said we were locked and loaded for a good meet. We just do the same thing we do every day, just do right by the horse and lead them over there.”

Bahnah preps for Spinaway

Bahnah, who dead-heated for first with Brazen Persuasion in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes here on opening day, had a workout Friday morning with Rosie Napravnik up, but with the track enveloped in fog, an official time could not be recorded.

“From what I saw it was pretty quick,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “I was looking for an easy half, which is about impossible with her, she works fast every time. Rosie said she went pretty quick and if Rosie said she went pretty quick then she went pretty quick.”

Calhoun said Bahnah has recovered from her hard effort in the Schuylerville and will be pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway on Sept. 1. Calhoun said in an effort to slow her down, he may work Bahnah on turf next time.

Meanwhile, Calhoun will be represented in the Grade 2 Adirondack here on Aug. 11 with Fiftyshadesofgold, winner of the Debutante at Churchill.

Fiftyshadesofgold, who worked five furlongs in 1:02 here on July 28, is scheduled to work again on Sunday.

Yaddo likely next for Dayatthespa

Dayatthespa, who was scratched last week from the Grade 1 Diana, will likely make her next start in the 1 1/16-mile Yaddo on Aug. 16, trainer Chad Brown reported.

Dayatthespa, winner of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II last fall at Keeneland, is coming off a second-place finish as the odds-on favorite behind Laughing in the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth Park. Laughing came out of that race to win the Diana.

Dayatthespa is perfect over the local turf course, having won her maiden here at 2 and the Riskaverse at a mile last summer.

“We’re probably going to run in the Yaddo,” said Brown. “The timing is good for her and should give her the time she needed to fully recover from her last start. She was a little tired after that race and I think she picked her head up a little this week. Her last work was good and I think the extra time should be in her favor.”

Dayatthespa finished very well at the end of an impressive five-eighths work in 59.76 seconds, and galloped out a big six furlongs in 1:12 over the Oklahoma turf course last Saturday.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch