07/31/2013 2:11PM

Saratoga: Madame Giry looks to break better in Caress Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rosa Salvaje, seen training under Alex Solis at Saratoga on July 24, will try to repeat in Friday's $100,000 Caress Stakes.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Back from an injury and back in Saratoga with a race under her belt, Madame Giry looks poised to return to her winning ways in Friday’s $100,000 Caress Stakes for filly and mare turf sprinters at Saratoga.

Madame Giry will face seven rivals in the Caress, scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on the Mellon turf course, including last year’s 19-1 upset winner, Rosa Salvaje.

Madame Giry, trained by Cam Gambolati, reeled off five consecutive victories last year from July through October, including a pair of allowance wins over this course.

Though Madame Giry comes in off a trio of losses, Gambolati said, “She’s better than ever. She was really aggressive galloping [Wednesday] morning.”

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Madame Giry comes in off a fourth-place finish against males in the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint at Calder on July 6. In that race, she broke slowly despite having worked a sharp five furlongs from the gate a week earlier.

“I don’t know why she did that,” Gambolati said about the slow start. “I want to be aggressive out of the gate, get her out running, then sit.”

Gambolati, who has Rosie Napravnik to ride, isn’t thrilled with having to break from the rail, but Madame Giry did win an allowance race from the rail here last summer.

Rosa Salvaje is winless in five starts since upsetting last year’s Caress. She has not run since finishing eighth in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland in April. Though Keeneland listed the turf as firm that day, Lisa Lewis, the trainer of Rosa Salvaje, disagreed.

“It was very wet, at least for Rosa – maybe not for some of the other horses,” Lewis said. “She likes Gulfstream. She liked this turf last year, when it was firm. She definitely wants firm turf.”

The course was officially listed as “good” last year for the Caress.

Though Rosa Salvaje won last year’s Caress from off the pace, Lewis wouldn’t mind seeing her on the front end under Alex Solis.

In order to make the lead Friday, Rosa Salvaje might have to outfoot Silverette in the early stages. Silverette, a daughter of Street Sense, is making her turf debut after posting a 4-4-0 record from nine starts, all on dirt. The only time she finished worse than second came in a 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont.

Silverette is related to two turf winners and might be the quickest filly in the field. Robby Albarado rides from post 8.

“She has a turf pedigree,” trainer Dale Romans said. “I’ve been wanting to put her on it, but she’s run so well on the dirt [that] we haven’t done it. This race sets up good, and she’s had a couple of good [turf] works. Her last work was really good.”

Romans expects Silverette to show the same type of speed on turf as dirt, “especially the way she worked the other day,” he said.

Sounds of the City, Lion Down by Me, Spun Cap, Double the Energy, and Queen Chatanika complete the field.