09/01/2011 4:43PM

Saratoga: Stopshoppingmaria to skip Spinaway Stakes; Pletcher has strong sub in Georgie's Angel

Barbara D. Livingston
Georgie’s Angel (right) trains with stablemate Queen’splatekitten on Tuesday at Saratoga. Georgie’s Angel will run in Sunday’s Spinaway.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Though he elected to keep the probable favorite in the barn for Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, trainer Todd Pletcher will still have a strong contender when he sends out George’s Angel in the $250,000 race for juvenile fillies.

Pletcher and owner Mike Repole had considered running Stopshoppingmaria in the Spinaway. Coming off a monster 9 3/4-length victory in a maiden race Aug 14, Stopshoppingmaria would likely have been favored. Instead, Pletcher and Repole will wait to run Stopshoppingmaria in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park on Oct. 8.

“It was very tempting to want to run her back,” Pletcher said. “We felt she ran so fast the other day. We felt like she ran well enough to circle the Breeders’ Cup as her main goal, and we felt like the best way to get there was to give her a little extra space now and run in the Frizette and the Breeders’ Cup.”

In Georgie’s Angel, Pletcher sends out a filly who won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race by 6 1/4 lengths on July 4 at Churchill Downs and then came back 18 days later to win the Grade 3 Schuylerville here on opening day.

“She ran very well first time out, we decided to take a shot and run her back a little quicker than we normally like to,” Pletcher said. “She responded well, got an important win over the track, and has trained very well since then. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things have gone for her.”

Georgie’s Angel, a daughter of Bellamy Road, drew post 2 in a field of nine fillies that will contest seven furlongs.

Georgie’s Angel will likely vie for favoritism in the Spinaway with Judy the Beauty, a daughter of Ghostzapper who is 3 for 3, including a victory in the Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine on July 17. She has won twice on synthetics and once on turf – that win coming in France. She has trained exceptionally fast on dirt at Aqueduct for owner/trainer Wesley Ward.

The remainder of the Spinaway field includes maiden winners And Why Not, Vukovar, Lady Pecan, True Feelings, Born Bullish, Grace Hall, and Baffle Me.