08/14/2013 4:15PM

Saratoga: Sword Dancer could be Teaks North's second race in three days

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Teaks North is cross-entered in a high-priced optional claiming race Thursday and the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational on Saturday. He may run in both races.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There was a mad rush to the entry box for Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga as the 1 1/2-mile turf race drew a field of 13 colts and geldings.

Among the more intriguing names dropped through the entry box was Teaks North, a multiple Grade 1 winner, who was also entered in an optional claiming race on Thursday. He is in for the $100,000 claiming price. Star Channel, also entered on Thursday, was cross-entered in the Sword Dancer as well.

Sandy Robbins, who purchased Teaks North privately following his victory in the Good Reward Stakes at Belmont in May, initially was planning to run the 6-year-old gelding in both races – provided he didn’t get claimed on Thursday.

However, his enthusiasm to run in the Sword Dancer waned somewhat when he heard there were 13 in the field.

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“Michelle [Nevin], my trainer has clearly indicated that back-to-back races are a possibility,” Robbins said Wednesday by phone. “Now that you’re telling me 13 horses might run, I’m not all that excited about that.”

Nevin is a former assistant and exercise rider for Richard Dutrow Jr., who had a history of success wheeling horses back on short rest. Last year, with Willy Beamin, Dutrow – who is currently serving a 10-year suspension for a history of rules violations – won the Albany on a Wednesday and the Grade 1 King’s Bishop three days later.

“I’m sure that’s where she learned it,” Robbins said. “He was very successful with it.”

Teaks North is a two-time Grade 1 winner having taken the United Nations at Monmouth and the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in 2011. After going winless in three starts last year, Teaks North has a 2-2-0 record from 5 starts, including a runner-up finish behind Big Blue Kitten in the U.N. last month.

“I think he could have won,” Robbins said. “I think he was taken out wide and was beaten by a horse that came up the inside and snuck through.”

The entry of Teaks North threw a curveball to Alan Goldberg, the trainer of the filly Tannery. Goldberg thought he had Luis Saez to ride Tannery, but Saez was named to ride Teaks North. Goldberg named Angel Serpa on Tannery, who drew post 13.

Boisterous, the Grade 1 Man o’ War winner and probable Sword Dancer favorite, drew post  7. Big Blue Kitten, the likely second choice, drew post 2. Al Khali, who will be making his fourth consecutive appearance in the Sword Dancer after two third-place finishes and a second-place finish last year to Point of Entry, drew post 7.