08/16/2013 3:42PM

Saratoga: Watsdachances looks at her best for Lake Placid

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Watsdachances won the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga last summer in her first North American start

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – It took a little longer than trainer Chad Brown had hoped, but Watsdachances has finally returned to the form that made her a multiple stakes-winning 2-year-old last year.

Coming off her best performance of the season in the Grade 2 Lake George last month, Watsdachances looks poised to return to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga.

Watsdachances and Tapicat, separated by a neck when they finished behind Kitten’s Dumplings in the Lake George, top a seven-horse field for the 1 1/8-mile Lake Placid.

Watsdachances won the P.G. Johnson Stakes here last summer in her first North American start and followed up with a victory in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont. She ended her 2-year-old season by running second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.

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Watsdachances disappointed as the favorite in the Grade 3 Appalachian and Grade 2 Sands Point to begin her 3-year-old year before an improved effort in the Lake George.

“She had been training well for her first couple of starts of the year where she’d been subpar,” Brown said. “Going into this last race, I did think she actually looked really, really good, finally, like her coat finally came around. I had no excuses going into the last race, and she ran her best race of the year.”

Brown said that Watsdachances has held her weight and trained well since the Lake George and expects her to run well on Sunday. He believes the 1 1/8 miles of the Lake Placid will suit Watsdachances.

“The way she’s settling and running, I think the mile and an eighth will be fine for her. It seems like this is a field of fillies that definitely have some talent.”

Tapicat won three consecutive races – all in front-running fashion – in Florida during the winter before going to the sidelines. She returned off a five-month layoff in the Lake George with a solid effort, forced to sit off horses for the first time when Midnight Watch ran off to a five-length early lead.

“She rated very well,” trainer Bill Mott said. “I have no problem with her being in behind somebody if somebody wants to be foolish and go to the lead.”

Mike Smith is scheduled to fly in from Southern California to ride Tapicat, who could be the main speed from post 2.

Concise, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, finished second in a first-level allowance race here on July 25 in her first North American start and first for trainer Graham Motion. Concise will wear blinkers for the first time.

“She ran like she kind of needed the race,” Motion said. “She was a little green being her first start over here. She came from a long way back and there was no pace in the race, but I think it was a good effort. She came back and worked with Inimitable Romanee [third in Friday’s Yaddo] with a little pair of blinkers on her and she went well.”

Silsita and Broken Spell, separated by a nose when they were first and second, respectively, in the My Princess Jess Stakes at a mile here on July 20, and Caroline Thomas, beaten a head in the Bit of Whimsy at Belmont at 1 1/8 miles in June, complete the field.

Steve Sabella More than 1 year ago
tapica all the way