08/08/2013 5:47PM

Saratoga notes: Ogermeister joins field for Saratoga Special

Tom Keyser
Wired Bryan, the winner of the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes last month, returns for Sunday's Grade 2 Saratoga Special, which drew a field of seven juveniles.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Perhaps the biggest surprise at Thursday’s post-position draw for Sunday’s Grade 2 Saratoga Special was the addition of the New York-bred Ogermeister to the lineup. Ogermeister, a runaway winner of his career debut at Belmont, was not nominated for the Special and had to be supplemented into the race by trainer Wesley Ward at a cost of $4,000. The purse for the Special is $200,000.

Ogermeister drew post No. 2 in a field of seven juveniles entered for the 6 1/2-furlong Saratoga Special. All six of his opponents come off winning efforts, including Wired Bryan, who wheels back in three weeks off his easy victory in the Grade 2 Sanford on July 21.

The Special will share top billing on Sunday’s card along with its filly counterpart, the Grade 2 Adirondack, which lured a field of seven juvenile fillies led by the undefeated and untested stakes winner Fiftyshadesofgold.

Ogermeister earned a trip to Royal Ascot off his impressive maiden win but failed to handle the turf course and finished 15th, although beaten less than five lengths after chasing the early pace. He has prepared for his return to the main track over the artificial surface at Keeneland.

“I took a chance bringing him over to Ascot since he’s got an all-dirt pedigree, hoping to catch a firm turf [course], but it just didn’t work out,” Ward said. “He’s doing really well since he’s come back, and it looks like all these early-season 2-year-old stakes, as always, are contentious and very speed-oriented. So, we’re going to try to take him back a little, let the race unfold the way we believe it will, and hope he can come running at the end. That strategy worked well for us last year with Sweet Shirley Mae, who rallied to finish second in the Spinaway.”

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Ward said his main objective at the moment for Ogermeister is the Aspirant Stakes for New York-breds at Finger Lakes on Sept. 2.

“This should set him up well for what we’re really looking at with him against statebreds in three weeks,” Ward said. “And if he were to run big on Sunday, we can always go ahead and shoot for the big one here in the Hopeful.”

Ward already has one prospect for the Grade 1 Hopeful, Hollywood Talent, who finished third in the Sanford and second earlier this summer in the Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs.

Wired Bryan figures to vie for favoritism in the Special with a pair of well-regarded maiden winners, Corfu and Candy Dandy. Rounding out the field are Florida invader Lunarwarfare, Twang, and Danza.

Fiftyshadesofgold, who has won her first two starts by a combined 18 lengths, will square off against Untapable, Thank You Marylou, Who’s in Town, Designer Legs, Charmed Hour, and Hope the Six in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack.

Golden Soul works for Travers

Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul worked five furlongs in 1:01.09 immediately after the renovation break here Thursday as he prepares for the Grade 1 Travers on Aug. 24.

With regular exercise rider Pedro Velez aboard, Golden Soul completed his opening three-eighths in 36.36 and was under mild encouragement to finish before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.02 while drifting slightly into the turn. Golden Soul finished seventh and last in the Grade 1 Haskell on July 28 at Monmouth Park.

“I can’t explain the bad race; he came out of the Haskell great,” trainer Dallas Stewart said. “He worked well today. He had great energy and came home good, so we’re pointing to the Travers.”