08/26/2013 3:58PM

Saratoga notes: Wired Bryan confirmed for Hopeful Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Wired Bryan, seen working five furlongs in 1:00.88 at Saratoga on Monday, will start in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 2.

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After working five furlongs in 1:00.88 over the Oklahoma training track Monday, Wired Bryan was confirmed as a starter for the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful Stakes here on Labor Day.

Wired Bryan, beaten a nose by Corfu in the Saratoga Special on Aug. 11, worked in company with Neatie the Cat, finishing about two lengths ahead of that horse at the wire.

“I think we’re pretty much committed to running unless something goes wrong,” trainer Michael Dilger said. “It’s a Grade 1 worth $300,000. He obviously likes the track; he’s had two very good performances here. We think it’s a nice way to finish off the meet.”

Others pointing to the Hopeful include All in Blue, Big Sugar Soda, Corfu, In Trouble, Long On Value, Southern Blessing, and Strong Mandate. King Cyrus is possible.

Sweet Whiskey readies for Spinaway

Trainer Todd Pletcher is pointing a pair of fillies to Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinaway, including Sweet Whiskey, who worked a sharp half-mile in 47.72 seconds Monday over the main track, the fastest of 48 moves at the distance.

Under jockey John Velazquez, Sweet Whiskey got her final quarter in 23.11 and galloped out five furlongs in 59.90.

“I wasn’t surprised that she did that,” Pletcher said. “She’s a pretty forward-training filly that’s pretty fast. She wasn’t being asked to do it; she was doing it because she was happy.”

Sweet Whiskey, a daughter of Old Fashioned, won her debut by 5 1/4 lengths here Aug. 11, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.81 and earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

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Pletcher’s other Spinaway starter, Stopchargingmaria, worked five furlongs in 1:00.84 in company with Elena Strikes, who is being pointed to the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sept. 7.

Others pointing to the Spinaway include Bahnah, Brazen Persuasion, Dancing House, and Designer Legs.

Lezcano to miss four weeks

Jockey Jose Lezcano will undergo surgery to repair a broken bone in his left wrist and will be out of action for at least four weeks.

Lezcano was injured when his mount, Kris Royal, broke down at the quarter pole of Sunday’s ninth race. Kris Royal had to be euthanized.

Lezcano, who ranked sixth in the country in wins through Sunday with 131, said he will have surgery Thursday and have “one or two screws” inserted to repair the wrist. Lezcano, who picked up the mount on Kentucky Derby winner Orb when Joel Rosario broke his left foot last Friday, was fourth in the riders’ standings at Saratoga with 24 wins.

Blinkers pay off for Imagining

Imagining likely earned himself another chance to compete against graded stakes competition with his 5 1/4-length victory in Sunday’s Idle Rich overnight stakes. Imagining, wearing blinkers for the first time, led throughout under jockey Javier Castellano to register his fifth win in 11 career starts, all for owner and breeder Ogden Phipps and trainer Shug McGaughey.

“I think he’s a free-running horse who needs to be in the game,” McGaughey said. “I worked him on the turf at Fair Hill one day, and he kind of jumped from the tire tracks, so I said, ‘Let’s try blinkers,’ and I liked what I saw. I’ll see how he comes out of this race, but I’d like to run him back in a stakes where he’d have a chance, maybe even a graded stakes. Something like the Knickerbocker or a race of that sort.”

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch