08/08/2013 4:17PM

Saratoga: Summer of Fun seeks first stakes in Auntie Mame

Barbara D. Livingston
Summer of Fun was beaten less than two lengths in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Summer of Fun has run too well to still be seeking her first stakes victory midway through her 3-year-old campaign, a situation trainer George Weaver hopes to rectify when he sends his multiple graded stakes-placed filly out against a talented and well-matched lineup in Saturday’s $100,000 Auntie Mame Stakes at Saratoga.

Summer of Fun came within less than two lengths of winning the big prize for 2-year-old grass fillies last season when finishing a late-charging third in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. That performance came just three weeks after Summer of Fun narrowly missed becoming a graded stakes winner when beaten a head in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Jessamine.

Summer of Fun has made only two starts thus far at 3, cruising to an easy entry-level allowance win at Gulfstream Park in March before again suffering a frustrating stakes setback when missing by a nose to Emotional Kitten in Pimlico’s Hilltop on May 17.

“She had a couple of small issues, got a little foot, after that race in Maryland, and we just gave her the appropriate time to get over those things,” Weaver said. “We figured having her here, this was a good place for her to start and give her a chance to finally become a stakes winner. It should also put her in position to run in the Garden City or Queen Elizabeth or some of those other big races down the line.”

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Summer of Fun has trained forwardly for her return, with a series of nice works that includes an easy half-mile in 47.51 on the main track and an even more impressive 59.23 five-eighths inside the cones over the Oklahoma turf course last Monday.

“She couldn’t be training any better, and I don’t believe she’ll need a race, even though she’s been away for a while,” Weaver said.

Summer of Fun will face a lineup that includes two graded stakes winners, Silsita and the New York-bred Unbelievable Dream, along with four other fillies who have stakes victories on their r é sum é s.

Silsita won the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks over the Polytrack at Turfway Park earlier this year but handled the grass with equal aplomb when a game winner of the My Princess Jess overnight stakes here earlier in the meet for leading trainer Todd Pletcher.

Unbelievable Dream captured three of her first four career starts, including the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland with an eye-catching last-to-first rally April 18. But she has failed to repeat that performance in two subsequent starts, finishing a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Sands Point and fourth against statebred stakes opposition last month at Belmont Park.

Barbie Wire, Joy, and Effie Trinket bring modest two-race win streaks into the Auntie Mame, with all three in-form fillies coming off overnight stakes wins. Barbie Wire earned her black type with an easy 2 1/2-length decision over the 4-5 Silsita in a race moved from the turf to a good main track at Belmont. Effie Trinket was an even more impressive 1 1/4-length winner over Bella Castani and Fab Flowers, both of whom also will compete in the 1 1/16-mile Auntie Mame, going seven furlongs in the Diamondrella at Belmont five weeks ago.