08/24/2013 1:09PM

Saratoga: Lea back to main track for Forego


This content is part of a free preview of DRF Plus. Click to learn more.

After futilely chasing Horse of the Year Wise Dan in each of his last two starts on the turf, trainer Al Stall Jr. will put Lea back on the main track while also shortening him up to seven furlongs for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 1 Forego.

Lea, who finished third behind the champ in the Grade 2 Fourstardave here earlier in the meet and second to that same nemesis in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap six weeks earlier, had his final tune-up for the Forego over the main track here Saturday when going an easy half-mile in 49.05 seconds in company with his 2-year-old stablemate Base Case Scenario.

Lea has started just once over the main track in eight career starts, winning a high-level optional claimer taken off the grass at Churchill Downs by 3 1/4 lengths over a sloppy track.

DRF Plus Preview

“He won on the dirt, he ran a mile in thirty five and one, so we know he can handle it,” Stall said. “We didn’t want to do the Bernard Baruch, so we figured let’s see if the dirt is a road we want to go down.  He wasn’t crazy about soft turf in his last two starts. Wise Dan is going to Canada, so it wouldn’t make sense to go there against him again at level weights. We just didn’t want to go the rest of his career without seeing if that last one was just a fluke because it was sloppy that day, and we just don’t know. So we’ll just roll the dice and try the Forego.”

Base Case Scenario, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, won his turf debut here last month and will make his next start in the Grade 2 With Anticipation on Thursday. The With Anticipation will be decided at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

“It’s a logical step,” Stall said. “He worked awfully well this morning and he’s done really well since his last race. He was blowing in the winner’s circle after his last start, so he clearly needed it, and I expect further improvement from him. We’re really looking forward to running him.”