08/19/2012 12:49PM

Saratoga: My Miss Aurelia, Mucho Macho Man part of busy morning at training track

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Barbara D. Livingston
Woodward prospect To Honor and Serve breezes five furlongs Sunday in 1:00.91.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -  It was a busy morning on all fronts Sunday at Saratoga with important works taking place, some simultaneously, over the main track as well as on both the Oklahoma training and turf courses.

Among the top horses to work early Sunday morning at Oklahoma were My Miss Aurelia, who breezed five furlongs in the dark in 1:03.03 shortly after the training track opened at 5:30 a.m., and Mucho Macho Man who followed about a half-hour later with a swift five- eighths in 1:00.98.

My Miss Aurelia, working for the first time since launching her 3-year-old campaign with an allowance victory here earlier this month, went f an easy opening three furlongs in 38.01 before finishing strong and galloping out six furlongs  in 1:17.19.

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“She trained beautifully. She switched leads spot on in her work today,” said Asmussen, who watched My Miss Aurelia along with his father Keith. “I’m very happy with where she’s at.”

Asmussen, who said he was concerned because My Miss Aurelia did not switch back to her right lead in her comeback race, said it would take a few races before a decision would be made on where she will run next although he definitely ruled out Saturday’s Grade 1 Test as an option.

Mucho Macho Man was given a target, sort of, stablemate Silver Menace, who broke off about a dozen lengths in front from the five-furlong pole. Mucho Macho Man posted early splits of  25.02 and  36.78  then made up all but a half-length of that deficit at the wire by completing his final quarter in a strong  24.20 under little to no urging from exercise rider Nick Petro Jr. Mucho Macho Man galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.91.

“The other horse was a little too far out in front of him but it really didn’t matter,” said Mucho Macho Man’s trainer Kathy Ritvo. “The turns are a little tight on that track and he’s such a big guy, it’s hard for him to gallop out around that last turn but it’s such a great surface. I thought he went great and he was bucking and squealing crossing the street to come back to the barn.”

Ritvo said Mucho Macho Man, an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Suburban in his last start, would have one more work next weekend, likely over the main track, prior to the Grade 1 Woodward here on Sept. 1.

“Last week he went a little too fast but it was his first work back since the Suburban and he was a little keyed up,” said Ritvo. “Right now he’s on a great schedule for him and everything seems to be setting up just like it did before his last race.  He’s very happy at the moment and when he’s happy, I’m happy.”

To Honor and Serve is also pointing for the Woodward and he worked nearly an identical five-eighths as Mucho Macho Man several hours later at Oklahoma, completing the distance in 1:00.91 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.47 while under only a little mild encouragement coming to the wire. 

The Oklahoma turf course was opened Sunday especially for trainer Chad Brown, who brought out four of his top grass fillies to breeze five furlongs in a pair of nearly mirror image sets shortly before 10  a.m.                                                                                                

Samitar and Dayatthespa were the first to go, breezing five-eighths in  59.13 before galloping out six furlongs in a nifty 1:11.60. Ramon Dominguez was aboard Samitar while Javier Castellano guided Dayatthespa. 

Set two consisted of Grade 1 winner Zagora, with exercise rider Walter Malasquez up, and Dream Peace, who had Julien Leparoux in the irons. They went five- eighths in 59.29 with a big final quarter in  23.09 before galloping out six furlongs  in 1:11.45 and pulling up seven- eighths in a strong 1:24.57 over the firm course.    

“All four went super.  They were like carbon copies, which I would expect,” said Brown. “Dayatthespa is the most keen of the four so I figured she’d work a little snappier.”

Brown said his plans at the moment are for Dayatthespa to run next in the Riskaverse, Samitar in the Grade 1 Garden City, Zagora in the Ballston Spa , and Dream Peace in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl.

Brown also set out a couple of his fillies, the promising 3-year-old Book Review and multiple stakes winner Kid Kate, to work over the main track,  the pair going five-eighths in 1:00.64 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.47.

Book Review is coming off an easy first-level allowance win for which she received a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. She will make her stakes debut on Saturday in the Test while Kid Kate returns in an overnight stakes at the end of the meet.

 Other workers of note on Sunday over the main track included Gun Boat, who flew five furlongs from the gate in  58.21 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.43 in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop; Doctor Chit, a half-mile in  47.65 , also for the King’s Bishop; Stay Thirsty, five-eighths in 1:00.46 for the Woodward;  Island Bound, a half-mile in  48.04 for Saturday’s Grade 1 Ballerina,  and Teen Pauline, six furlongs in 1:12.85 in company for the Grade 1 Spinaway.

Asmussen was very pleased with Teen Pauline’s work.

 “She worked very impressively,” said Asmussen. “ I wanted to get a good work in her. Her maiden race went beautifully but she did not get a ton out of it. She needed a good blow. They went off easy the first eighth, picked it up nicely after that and galloped out good.”

Teen Pauline, a 2-year-old daughter of Pulpit, set a  five-furlong track record winning her debut here early in the session.

- additional reporting by David Grening