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Victory Ride might race again
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Victory Ride, the Test winner, underwent successful surgery on Sunday to repair her broken right foreleg, and her connections held out hope that the 3-year-old filly could return to the races sometime next year.
Dr. Larry Bramlage inserted two screws to repair Victory Ride's right front cannon bone, and she returned to trainer Rusty Arnold's Saratoga barn around noon on Monday. Arnold said that Victory Ride would be re-examined in 60 days, at which time a determination on her future would be made.
"If she loses no motion in her joint she'll be all right," Arnold said. "[Bramlage] said that she'll be as good as she's going to be in 60 days. If she's 100 percent we'll try and bring her back. If not, she'll be a broodmare if she can't race."
Victory Ride broke her leg Saturday after completing a quarter-mile of a half-mile workout on Saratoga's main track. Exercise rider Simon Harris felt her take a bad step and immediately pulled her up. Arnold credited Harris along with the New York Racing Association crew for their quick action, which helped save Victory Ride from further injury.
Victory Ride, owned by G. Watts Humphrey, displayed brilliance in four starts, winning three of them, including the Grade 1 Test here on July 28. Her only loss came by a neck in the Grade 1 Acorn.
Arnold believes Victory Ride is the best filly he has trained and also felt that she would get even better as she stretched out in distance.
"I'm disappointed for Mr. Humphrey, but not as disappointed for him as I am for the horse, because she was something special," Arnold said. "I thought she hasn't shown her best. I was fortunate to be able to be around a horse like that. She had her future still in front of her and she was going to get better as she went on."
Arnold said Victory Ride would stay here until the end of the Saratoga meet before shipping to a farm in Kentucky to continue her recuperatation.
Traditionally preps in allowance
Although Traditionally may never run again at Belmont Park, he will return to Saratoga on Wednesday in a classified allowance race that will serve as a prep for the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic on Sept. 22 at Turfway Park.
Traditionally, who won the Grade 1 Oaklawn Park Handicap on April 7, is coming off two miserable performances at Belmont in the Metropolitan Handicap and Suburban Handicap. Trainer Shug McGaughey believes Belmont Park is too sandy for Traditionally, but Saratoga is different.
"`I think it's got a harder bottom on it, not as much sand," McGaughey said. "Traditionally has terrible problems running down and that's why he stopped in the Suburban. You've got to keep him on racetracks that are a little more firm to not bruise his heels."
Wednesday's allowance race also features the return of multiple stakes winners Lager and Talk's Cheap off lengthy layoffs. Open Sesame could be the main speed in the nine-furlong race.
McGaughey, who is 7 for 26 at this meet, will be active in stakes action this weekend, with Serra Lake in Friday's Personal Ensign Handicap and Country Hideaway in Sunday's Ballerina Handicap, both Grade 1 races.
Serra Lake, who won the Go for Wand Handicap, breezed four furlongs in 50.12 seconds Sunday over the training track, while Country Hideaway, second in the Honorable Miss last out, worked four furlongs in 49.85 seconds on Monday morning.
Serra Lake was one of seven horses assigned 117 pounds for the Personal Ensign, run at 10 furlongs. Among those expected to run are Beautiful Pleasure (117), Critical Eye (117), Irving's Baby (117), Pompeii (117), Catch the Ring (115), Lady Melesi (115), and Under the Rug (115).
Cashier's Dream to Spinaway
Cashier's Dream, who suffered her first career loss to You in the Adirondack last week, will make her next start in the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Aug. 31, said Barry Irwin, president of the Team Valor syndicate that owns the filly.
"She came back from this last race like you wouldn't believe," Irwin said. "She lost a minimal amount of weight and she acts unbelievable."
Irwin said he also nominated Cashier's Dream to the Grade 1 Hopeful, for juvenile colts on Sept 1., "just in case it comes up bad."
Snow Dance gets graded win
Earlier in the meet, trainer John Ward said he was looking forward to running Snow Dance in a graded stakes so he could get the filly some black type in hopes of gaining an invitation to the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland this fall.
Snow Dance complied when she won her stakes debut in Monday's $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap, a Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies.
Snow Dance set a reasonable pace in the 1 1/8-mile Lake Placid over the Mellon turf course and rolled home a 1 1/4-length winner over Wander Mom, a 45-1 shot. Favorite Mystic Lady finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up, in the 12-horse field.
Snow Dance, at 9-1, combined with Wander Mom for a $672 exacta.
The final time was 1:47.42 over a firm course.
Jockey Richard Migliore recorded his first stakes win of the meet on Snow Dance after finishing second in both the Jim Dandy and Saratoga Special.
"Honestly, she paced herself well and I was just a passenger," said Migliore, who was riding Snow Dance for the first time. "I didn't set her down until the eighth pole."
Snow Dance ($21.60) is now undefeated in three grass starts for her owner, John C. Oxley. Ward said Snow Dance may not race again until the Queen Elizabeth because the Lake Placid was her third start since July 6.
City Zip works for King's Bishop
City Zip, who heads into Saturday's $200,000 King's Bishop on the Travers undercard undefeated in four stakes at Saratoga, worked six furlongs Sunday over the main track.
With exercise rider Ricky Legal aboard, City Zip covered the distance in 1:12.11, breezing. Trainer Linda Rice said she timed him in 47.60 seconds for the half-mile and 59.60 for five-eighths.
Rice said City Zip, who won the Grade 2 Amsterdam here Aug. 3, needed a sharp work, even though he will have only 22 days between starts.
"Frankly, it was a strong breeze and I was happy with it," Rice said Monday morning. "He tends to take it easy in his day-to-day training and gets heavy on me overnight. He's on a diet because he tends to fill up on you - he's a good [eater]."
A solid field, loaded with speed, is shaping up for the Grade 1 King's Bishop for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. Expected to join City Zip are Triple Bend Breeders' Cup runner-up Squirtle Squirt, who hails from the hot Bobby Frankel barn, and Bay Head King, Buckle Down Ben, Illusioned, Shore Breeze, and The Goo. Keats, who hasn't raced since finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby, is 50-50, according to the racing office.
The King's Bishop lost an expected starter when Speightstown came out of the Amsterdam with an injury.
Dr. Robert McMartin, who oversees the vet care for the horses of Eugene and Laura Melnyk, the owners Speightstown, said Speightstown came out of his second-place finish in the Amsterdam with a hairline fracture of the pastern bone in his right foreleg. McMartin said no surgery was required and that Speightstown, a $2 million yearling purchase, would resume training in late November.
* With Tom Durkin taking Monday afternoon off, Larry Collmus, the track announcer at Monmouth Park and Suffolk Downs, called the races here.
- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson