07/26/2011 3:14PM

Saratoga: Prince Will I Am sent to Kentucky farm for vacation

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Adam Coglianese
Prince Will I Am, winning the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida last winter, has been some time off following two poor performances.

Grade 1 winner Prince Will I Am has been sent home to his owners Casa Farm in Lexington, Ky., trainer Michelle Nihei confirmed on Tuesday. Prince Will I Am won the Grade 1 Jamaica at 3 as well as both the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida and W.L. McKnight Handicap in Florida last winter. But he had finished off the board in each of his last two starts, the Grade 1 Turf Classic and Manhattan Handicap.

“I just couldn’t figure out what the problem was, why he ran so poorly in his last two starts, I just couldn’t put my finger on it,” said Nihei. “So after discussing it with my owner we just decided to give him a rest and let him tell us when he’s ready to come back. He’s done so well for us I didn’t want to start guessing and changing things just for the sake of it if it’s not clear what to change. The barn is so empty without him right now. He is such an incredible horse. It was like having my best friend leave.”

Adios Charlie out for year with stress fracture

Adios Charlie, winner of the Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct in April, beating Astrology and Justin Phillip, will miss the remainder of his 3-year-old season due to stress fracture in his left hind leg, trainer and part-owner Stanley Hough said Monday.

After winning the Jerome, Adios Charlie was beaten a head by Alternation in the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont in May and finished second to Dominus in the Dwyer at Belmont in July. Hough said Adios Charlie came out of the Dwyer with the problem, which was a reoccurrence of an injury that sidelined him as a 2-year-old.

Hough said Adios Charlie would be sent to Barry and Sharri Eisaman’s Eisaman Equine, a full-service 300-acre farm in Ocala, Fla., and be given 90 days off before resuming training in October to prepare for next winter’s Gulfstream meet.

“It could be worse, but it’s disappointing,’’ Hough said.

Hough owns Adios Charlie with partner Robert Sahn. Adios Charlie is a son of Indian Charlie who brought $400,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales auction in March 2010. He has 2 wins and 3 seconds from 5 starts.

Sheppard sends out Italian Wedding in steeplechase

The $70,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice has been carded as the first race on Thursday’s program and is the first jump race of the 2011 meet. The race will be contested over the hurdles at 2 1/16 miles.

Trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who has considerable success over the years in the jump races, will be represented in the Kiser by Italian Wedding, who finished fourth in the National Hunt Cup Stakes in his last start.

Straight To It, runner-up iin a Grade 3 event at Colonial Downs in his last start, may be favored in a field of 10 that also includes the 9-year-old former flat runner Here Comes Art and trainer Tom Voss’s pair of Cornhusker and Tizsilk.

– additional reporting by David Grening