Updated on 09/17/2011 10:59AM

Two-surface threat sticks to dirt


ELMONT, N.Y. - Sands Point winner Savedbythelight will try to bring her game to a higher level on Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park.

Savedbythelight's 5 3/4-length win in the off-the-turf Sands Point at Belmont June 15 was only her second career win. Last year, Savedbythelight made her first two starts on the grass and then was moved to the dirt. In her second start, she won a maiden race on the grass at Belmont. Two starts later, she finished second in the Grade 2 Demoiselle over Aqueduct's main track.

Savedbythelight's trainer, Rick Violette, and her owner, Earle I. Mack, plan to keep the 3-year-old filly on the dirt, at least for now. She was entered main-track only for the Sands Point.

"Mr. Mack and I have talked about keeping her on the dirt for as far as she can take us," Violette said. "She's obviously a nice turf horse. She was beat by Ocean Drive in her first start and we might have been best that day. Some horses go back and forth between dirt and turf and are successful, but a lot of horses aren't."

Jose Santos picks up the mount on Savedbythelight because Richard Migliore will ride out of town on Saturday.

In addition to Savedbythelight, the probable lineup for the 1 1/2-mile CCA Oaks is Spoken Fur, Yell, Fircroft, Little Bonnet, Shapes and Shadows, and Skipamiss.

Likely CCA Oaks favorite Spoken Fur, trained by Bobby Frankel, became eligible for a $2 million bonus by winning the Mother Goose June 28. If Spoken Fur also wins the CCA Oaks and the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga Aug. 16, she will earn her owner, John Amerman, the bonus.

One fast, one slow

Frankel worked Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker over the main track on Wednesday in preparation for the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 3. He also worked Peace Rules, who is being pointed to the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park the same day as the Jim Dandy.

Frankel's horses were the only ones on Wednesday's work tab to record six-furlong works and their times were very different.

Empire Maker, with jockey Aaron Gryder in the saddle, was credited with a six-furlong move in 1:14.51. Empire Maker's time for five furlongs was 1:02.40, according to the Belmont clockers.

"He started very slow and finished well," Frankel said. "He got his first quarter in like 26 [seconds]. You can make him go faster, but he doesn't need to do that."

Peace Rules blazed through six furlongs in 1:12.02. The clockers timed Peace Rules, who was ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, in 21.99 for his first quarter-mile.

"He wants to go," Frankel said. "He's a little like Funny Cide. He's not hard to gallop, but when you break from the pole, he likes to go."

Both Frankel horses will ship later in the week to Saratoga and have their next works there.

Colita moves to Pletcher's barn

Colita, scratched from the Dwyer on July 6 because of a minor stifle injury, is now trained by Todd Pletcher. Colita, owned by the Team Valor syndicate, was transferred from trainer Carlos Morales to Pletcher on July 10.

Pletcher said he hasn't finalized anything with Barry Irwin, the president of Team Valor, but the trainer mentioned the Haskell as a good possibility for Colita's next start.

"I knew they were planning on running in the Dwyer, but his stifle locked up," Pletcher said. "But [the stifle] is good right now."

On Tuesday, Colita worked a half-mile in 48.87.

Gander tops field for Shipman

Gander was assigned 124 pounds as the highweight for Sunday's $100,000-added Evan Shipman Handicap for New York-breds.

Expected to join Gander in the 1 1/16-mile Evan Shipman are Well Fancied (119), No Parole (118), Sherpa Guide (118), Ahpo Here (117), Compelling World (115), Thebigapple (115), Indian Card (112), Looks Expensive (112), Mr. Determined (112), Salute Him (112), and Stellianos (112).

Thebigapple, trained by Bruce Levine, is 4 for 6 at Belmont and is coming off a win against open company on July 5 after an 11-week layoff.

"He loves Belmont and the one turn," Levine said, "although I wish I had more time in between races for him. He ran two good races in the spring and they knocked him out, so I gave him some time. I liked his last race, especially since it was [sprinting]."

- On Wednesday, Volponi, in his first breeze since finishing second in the Suburban, worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:01.12 and galloped out in 1:13.90 for six furlongs. Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn was aboard Volponi, who will run next in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 2.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman