07/19/2012 4:01PM

Saratoga notes: Bern Identity steps up to Sanford after romp

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Tom Keyser
Stay Thirsty could miss a planned start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 4.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Even before it began, Kelly Breen’s Saratoga meet got off to a rocky start.

Breen had to scratch Mr. Hall’s Opus from Friday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes for 2-year-old fillies after she had a 103 temperature when Breen arrived at his Saratoga barn Thursday morning.

“It’s frustrating right now,” Breen said later Thursday morning as he was driving back to his other summer base, Monmouth Park. “Maybe she can make the next one if she only misses a couple of days.”

The next stakes for 2-year-old fillies is the Adirondack on Aug. 12. The first stakes for 2-year-old males is Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sanford Stakes in which Breen will be represented by Bern Identity.

[SANFORD STAKES: Get PPs, news, video, and wager]

Bern Identity, a son of Bernstein, finished second to the filly Sweet Shirley Mae – who was one of six remaining fillies in the Schuylerville – in his debut May 9. Bern Identity came back to win a five-furlong maiden race by 13 3/4 lengths at Belmont on June 1.

“I don’t think I cranked him up too much for his first start,” Breen said. “He took it to the next level himself in his second race. He grew up awfully quick.”

Bern Identity shipped to Saratoga last week. On Sunday, he blew out three furlongs in 34.44 seconds over the main track.

“He’s primed and ready to go,” Breen said. “He seems to like it up here; he seems to like the track.”

Bern Identity will break from post 3 and be ridden by Rosie Napravnik.

The Sanford field, from the rail out, is: Handsome Jack, Brave Dave, Bern Identity, Hightail, Rose Junction, Special Jo, Good Tickled, Onetwentyeight, and John Gorden.

Carried Interest points to Special

Carried Interest, one of the more impressive juvenile maiden winners at the Belmont meet, will skip the Sanford and point to the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Aug. 12.

Carried Interest won his debut at Belmont on July 5, running five furlongs in 56.62 seconds and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

“If I had gotten to run a week earlier, it might have been an option, but it’s just not the right thing to do,” trainer Rick Violette said. “He ran fast. We’ll take our lumps and do the middle one. If the Hopeful was a Grade 1, you might reconsider.”

Violette was referring to the fact that the Hopeful was downgraded from a 1 to a 2 for the first time this year. All three stakes for 2-year-old males at this meet are Grade 2s.

On Thursday, Carried Interest breezed four furlongs in 49.48 over the main track in just a common gallop under exercise rider Rodney Paine.

“It was his first breeze here, and I just told Rodney let him find his way around,” Violette said. “He ran like a rocket, he doesn’t have to be a rocket. He’s very, very smart and manageable.”

Stay Thirsty could miss the Whitney

Stay Thirsty, last year’s Jim Dandy and Travers winner, could miss the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap here Aug. 4, trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday.

Stay Thirsty finished fifth in the Suburban at Belmont on July 7 and has been slow to recover from the race, Pletcher said.

“It was hot, and he seemed to be a little knocked out after the race, and it seems like it’s taken a little while to get his energy level back,” Pletcher said.

Pletcher said it is not out of the question that Caixa Eletronica, who was entered in Friday’s James Marvin Stakes, could wheel back in two weeks in the Whitney.

◗ St. John’s River posted the fastest five-furlong work over the main track here Thursday, covering the distance in 59.93 seconds. St. John’s River, winless since capturing the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks a year ago, is pointing to an allowance race here July 26 as a prep for the Grade 1 Personal Ensign four weeks later.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch