07/18/2012 3:22PM

Saratoga: Tony Dutrow has a filly on the rise for Schuylerville

Barbara D. Livingston
So Many Ways gets tended to by her trainer, Tony Dutrow, at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The last time a graded stakes was run for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga, trainer Tony Dutrow was in the winner’s circle following Grace Hall’s victory in last September’s Grade 1 Spinaway.

The feature on Friday’s 10-race opening day card at Saratoga is the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes for juvenile fillies, and Dutrow is feeling confident that So Many Ways can help him pick up where he left off.

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So Many Ways is one of seven 2-year-old fillies entered in the six-furlong Schuylerville, which will go as race 9 on a card that also includes the Grade 3, $100,000 James Marvin for sprinters. First post is 1 p.m.

So Many Ways, a daughter of Sightseeing, won her debut on June  9 at Parx by eight lengths.

“I was extremely impressed with her because I knew that I didn’t do that much with her, and the way she’s come forward since this maiden-breaker is incredible,” Dutrow said.

Dutrow noted that So Many Ways was working half-miles in 52 seconds leading up to her debut. In her two weeks leading up to the Schuylerville, So Many Ways has fired a pair of bullet half-mile moves in 48 seconds.

The majority of the seven fillies won while racing on the lead. So Many Ways drew the outside post, which should give jockey Javier Castellano the option of rating if the early pace is too hot. So Many Ways, who won her debut without Lasix, gets that medication for this race.

Tony Dutrow’s stiffest competition could come from his brother Richard, who sends out Baby J in the Schuylerville. Baby J was purchased privately by Paul Pompa Jr. following her maiden score on June 28.

Dutrow has had the filly for only two weeks, and isn’t quite sure what he’s got in Baby J.

“I would prefer to answer that question after the race,” Dutrow said. “She has to go up to Saratoga and run with some nice horses. There’s plenty of gas in there. She’s got her work cut out for her.”

Sweet Shirley Mae won her debut at Belmont by 1 1/2 lengths against the boys on May 9. Bern Identity, who finished second in that race, came back to win a maiden race by 13 3/4 lengths and will be running in Sunday’s Grade 2 Sanford Stakes.

Trainer Wesley Ward has typically sent out precocious, speedy fillies in the early stakes at Saratoga without success. He believes things could be different this time with Sweet Shirley Mae, a daughter of Broken Vow.

“Even though she won wire to wire at Belmont, she really isn’t super quick like a lot of them that I train,” Ward said. “I’m hopeful with a lot of speed in this field, the ones that are bred to go a little further like she is will be there at the end.”

Sweet Shirley Mae, who had the rail in her debut, has the rail again. She will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

Brown Eyes Blue is the only filly in the field to have won at the Schuylerville distance of six furlongs. Trainer Todd Pletcher goes for his fifth Schuylerville with Can’t Explain.

Fully Living, who beat Can’t Explain, and Mr. Hall’s Opus complete the field.

If any of the five fillies who won a maiden race at Belmont win the Schuylerville, they earn their connections a $100,000 bonus as part of a program the New York Racing Association started this spring. So Many Ways and Brown Eye Blues are not eligible.