08/10/2014 11:30AM

Seek Again targets BC Mile after record Fourstardave performance

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Barbara D. Livingston
Seek Again is on the path to the Breeders' Cup Mile after a record-breaking win Saturday in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Coming off a course record-setting performance in Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, Seek Again now will be plotted down a path to get to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

While there are two $1 million spots on the calendar before the Breeders’ Cup – the Woodbine Mile on Sept 14 and the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 4 – trainer Bill Mott said Sunday he likely would just choose one of them for Seek Again.

“I don’t think he’s the kind of horse you want to be pumping in there every 30 days and expect him to run his best,” Mott said. “I think he puts in a big effort every time and a little more time is better for him.”

Mott just has to do decide if he wants more time between the Fourstardave and the next race or the next race and the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“We’ll have to sort that out, I haven’t even looked at the calendar,” Mott said.

Seek Again was able to slip through an opening along the inside and out-finish Grand Arch to win the Fourstardave by a neck. His final time of 1:33.25 for the mile established a Saratoga inner turf course record. Seek Again earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I knew it was fast, but I didn’t realize it was a track record,” Mott said. “I wouldn’t have guessed it was a track record just watching the race. I never even thought about it. Particularly a lot of times, you think a track record is when a horse draws off and wins by several lengths.”

Mott said Seek Again came out of the race in good order.

“He cooled out good last night, had him out, walked and jogged this morning on the shank, fed him some grass, and he seemed to be doing well,” Mott said. “He seemed to be happy with himself, and we were happy with him.”

Mott had another reason to be happy Sunday morning as he welcomed his top older filly and mare Close Hatches to Saratoga. Close Hatches, undefeated in three starts this year, including the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps and Grade 1 Apple Blossom, arrived in Saratoga just after 10 a.m., following a van ride from Belmont Park, where on Saturday, she worked five furlongs in 1:01.48.

Close Hatches, who like Seek Again is owned by Juddmonte Farms, is pointing to the Grade 1 Personal Ensign here Aug. 22 and a rematch with Princess of Sylmar, whom she defeated by a head in the Phipps.

Mott had kept Close Hatches at Belmont because he likes the way she trains over the main track. However, this week, the main track will close for a few weeks, and all training at Belmont will shift to the training track.

On Sunday morning, Mott’s 3-year-old filly, Crown Queen, a half-sister to his multiple champion, Royal Delta, worked five furlongs in 1:01.77 over the Oklahoma turf course in preparation for the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes here next Saturday. Crown Queen got her final three furlongs in 35.57 seconds.

“Being in a stakes race would be a good time to put it all together; which she put it together last time, but the competition will get deeper as we go along,” Mott said.