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Saratoga: My Happy Face may go to Frizette
If Michael Dubb doesn’t win the owners’ title, he will at least leave Saratoga with a very promising 2-year-old filly in My Happy Face, who won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race on Friday by 21 1/4 lengths.
After finishing second to Teen Pauline in a track-record performance, My Happy Face galloped away from four rivals on Friday, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.55 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 85.
“I would trade 20 owners’ titles to have a filly like that,” Dubb said. “I looked at the entries and maybe I should have entered that horse in the Spinaway. It didn’t dawn on me sooner. We knew when we got her up here from the farm she was special.”
Dubb said that My Happy Face was fractious in the gate prior to her first start and that her trainer, Rudy Rodriguez, “was behind the gate, sometimes an hour a day, working with her by himself.”
“That’s a big edge for an owner,” Dubb said.
Dubb, who won last year’s Spinaway with Grace Hall, said he would likely point My Happy Face to the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park on Oct. 6.
“I want to be concerned about her 3-year-old season,” Dubb said. “She’ll run once or twice more this year.”
Said Rodriguez: “Shes a nice, big, solid, strong filly. She’s going to be nice.”
Rodriguez said he told Dubb that he thought My Happy Face and the colt Lucci the Lion had the potential to win first time out at this meet. Lucci the Lion, a New York-bred son of Lion Heart, did win his debut on Aug. 6 and was entered in Sunday’s Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth, but Rodriguez said he planned to scratch and wait for the $125,000 Joseph A. Gimma at Belmont on Oct. 20.
Agave Kiss to Charles Town Oaks
Rodriguez said his multiple-stakes-winning 3-year-old New York-bred filly Agave Kiss will likely make her next start in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks on Sept. 22. The race is at seven furlongs around two turns.
Agave Kiss, who won her first six starts, including the Grade 3 Cicada, has dropped her last two outings. She finished last in the Victory Ride at Belmont Park on July 7 and was third in the Grade 1 Prioress here on Aug. 4.
“She’s doing very good. She came out of the race very, very good,” Rodriguez said.
Though Rodriguez said he has recently trained Agave Kiss behind horses, he said he would expect her to be on the lead going two turns at Charles Town.
Rodriguez said he was planning to work Agave Kiss on the Oklahoma turf course on Monday to “see what she looks like on the grass.”
Bowling Green kicks off Belmont meet
Following Monday’s card, racing on this circuit is dark until Belmont Park’s fall meet opens on Saturday.
The opening-day feature is the Grade 2, $200,000 Bowling Green Handicap for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/4 miles on the turf.
Among those expected for the Bowling Green are Air Support, Brilliant Speed, Kindergarden Kid, and Newsdad. Possible runners include Alwaary, Center Divider, Freud’s Honor, and Lentenor.
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