07/29/2009 11:00PM

Wilkes well equipped for weekend

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Ian Wilkes, here with Warrior's Reward, also has two filly siblings for weekend stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - This could potentially be a big weekend for trainer Ian Wilkes and the dam La Cucina.

Wilkes trains siblings Miss Isella and Guam Typhoon, both of whom will be running in stakes races 35 minutes apart at Saratoga on Sunday. Miss Isella, a 4-year-old filly who has won her last two starts, is entered in the Grade 1 Go for Wand, while Guam Typhoon, a 3-year-old colt, is entered in the $70,000 Curlin Stakes. Both horses are out of the Irish-bred dam La Cucina, and are owned by Elaine Jones.

Miss Isella will likely go off the second choice in the Go for Wand behind the Godolphin entry of Seventh Street and Cocoa Beach. Also entered in the field are Color Me Up, Weathered, Spritely, and Luna Vega. Spritely and Luna Vega are cross-entered in Sunday's Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Miss Isella, by Silver Charm, enters the Go for Wand off victories in the Louisville Distaff and Fleur de Lis handicaps - both Grade 2 events - at Churchill Downs in the spring.

"When you start winning you get confident," Wilkes said of the filly. "She's a 4-year-old. She's just got better, more mature."

With regular rider Calvin Borel at Monmouth Park to ride Rachel Alexandra in the $1.25 million Haskell, Julien Leparoux will ride Miss Isella.

Seventh Street and Cocoa Beach form a tough entry for Godolphin Stable. Seventh Street won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom in her lone start around two turns and comes off a good second to Seattle Smooth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont last out. She will break from the rail under Rajiv Maragh.

Cocoa Beach won an overnight stakes by five lengths here last summer en route to Grade 1 victories in the Beldame at Belmont and Matriarch on turf at Hollywood Park. She finished last as a 1-9 favorite in the Floral Park Stakes at Belmont in her first start of the year. She drew post 7 and has Ramon Dominguez named to ride

The race immediately before the Go for Wand is the Curlin Stakes, which was originally scheduled for Saturday but did not have enough entries to fill. Guam Typhoon was not among the original entries, but after looking at the prospective competition, Wilkes decided to take a shot.

The Curlin, which last year was known as the Henry Walton and produced Travers hard-luck loser Mambo in Seattle, went with a field of 7. The race is at 1 1/8 miles. Guam Typhoon, a son of Distorted Humor, has never raced beyond seven furlongs.

"Let's see how good I can train," Wilkes joked. "I always thought this horse had a lot of talent. He was in tough races early in his career. You really don't know until they do it. The whole family could go long."

Sir Cherokee, another sibling, won the 2003 Arkansas Derby.

Others entered in the Curlin include Masala, American Dance, Nowhere to Hide, Gone Astray, Blame, and Anaan.

Kip Deville heads contentious Fourstardave

Kip Deville, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile, seeks to bounce back from a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Poker last out when he heads a nine-horse field in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap.

Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said he couldn't find anything amiss with Kip Deville after the Poker and is under the impression the horse did not handle Belmont's soft turf. Cornelio Velasquez, the 6-year-old's regular rider, has the call from post 8.

Cowboy Cal seeks to bounce back from a ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 Manhattan on June 6. He cuts back from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/16 miles in this spot. Ramon Dominguez will ride Cowboy Cal from the rail.

Also entered in the Fourstardave are Justenuffhumor, Papa Bear, Cosmonaut, Veiled Prophet, Wesley, Mambo Meister, and Interpatation.

I Lost My Choo out for the year

I Lost My Choo, the multiple Grade 3 stakes-winning New York-bred filly, will miss the remainder of the year because of a strained tendon injury, trainer Phil Serpe said Thursday.

Serpe said I Lost My Choo would be given four or five months off with the hopes of bringing her back next year at Gulfstream Park where she is 4 for 4.

I Lost My Choo, a daughter of Western Expession, won the Grade 3 Virginia Oaks last year and the Grade 3 Honey Fox Handicap this year. Most recently, she finished second in the Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park on July 6.

Next stop Whitney for Finallymadeit

Finishing third in an overnight stakes at Saratoga on opening day might satisfy some. But it was only a means to an end for the connections of Finallymadeit, who will use Wednesday's third-place finish in the James Marvin Stakes as a stepping-stone to next Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney.

Finallymadeit opened a clear lead in early stretch before ultimately succumbing to Gold Trippi and Pyro in the seven-furlong James Marvin. The outing was the first for Finallymadeit at Saratoga and his first since being transferred to trainer Tim Ritvo following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap early last month.

"He ran well but seven furlongs really isn't his game," said Ritvo. "At the moment, the owner's objective is not trying to win $50,000 or $75,000 stakes or he would have kept him down at Calder. He's already a multiple graded stakes winner. The main goal is to try to win a Grade 1 to enhance his value as a stallion. We used this start to give him a race over the track and get him a prep for the Whitney."

Finallymadeit, who is owned by his breeder Rolando Rodriguez, has already been a work horse this season. The James Marvin was his 11th start in a year during which he's won two Grade 3 races and finished second behind Albertus Maximus in the Grade 1 Donn. A son of Concerto, Finallymadeit went over the $1 million mark in career earnings in the Suburban.

Finallymadeit's appearance in the field could prove an obstacle for Commentator who led throughout en route to a 4 3/4-length victory in the 2008 Whitney. Finallymadeit has a similar running style as the defending champion, having set the pace in the majority of his starts around two turns.

Winchester returning

Winchester, winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes a year ago, will return from an eight-month vacation in Saturday's seventh race to be decided under second-level optional claiming conditions.

Winchester was transferred from trainer Dermot Weld to his current home with Christophe Clement following his 3-year-old finale, a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup, on Dec. 6.

"He's a lovely horse with a lot of class," Clement said of Winchester. "He had some changes going on in his legs and needed some time off after he came to us in December. This is a great race to bring him back. I think he's fit enough to go a mile and one-sixteenth, although it's not the kind of race he's got to win. After this we'll probably start looking at everything for him except the Sword Dancer, which comes up a little too quick."

Clement reported that Funny Moon came out of her courageous victory in the Coaching Club Oaks in good order, although he's still at a loss to explain what caused the 3-year-old filly to bear out so badly around the final bend of the Grade 1 race.

"She came back so sound, it's really hard to explain what happened," said Clement. "She's never done anything like that before but it's something we'll have to address, especially during her next work. If nothing else, we'll probably have to make a change with the bit she uses."

* Kaper Lake ran six furlongs in 1:08.07 winning Friday's third race, a $25,000 claiming event. The program lists Spanish Riddle, in 1972, as the track record holder for the distance at 1:08 flat, but races were not timed in hundredths back then so his exact time is not known.

However, Speightstown ran six furlongs in 1:08.04 winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap here in 2004.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch