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'Wonder Lady' ready after all
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A few weeks ago, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. expressed some doubt about whether Coaching Club American Oaks winner Wonder Lady Anne L could make Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama because she had been coughing.
On Monday, after Wonder Lady Anne L worked six furlongs in 1:14.01 over Saratoga's main track, Dutrow declared Wonder Lady Anne L a definite starter for Saturday's $600,000 Alabama, the marquee race for 3-year-old fillies at this meet.
"Unless something goes wrong, she's definite," Dutrow said.
Something nearly went wrong during Monday's work. After breaking from the five-furlong marker, Wonder Lady Anne L caught company when Cotton Blossom, winner of the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes here on opening day, began her work at the half-mile pole. Edgar Prado, who was aboard Wonder Lady Anne L, said his filly wanted to go after Cotton Blossom but he took a hold of her and guided her several paths away from the 2-year-old filly.
Coming into the stretch, Prado kept a good hold on Wonder Lady Anne L as Cotton Blossom finished her work - four furlongs in 49.93 seconds in preparation for the Spinaway - a few lengths ahead of her. Still, Wonder Lady Anne L recorded the quickest six-furlong work of seven who went the distance.
"I wanted to go as slow as possible," Prado said. "My filly got a little aggressive so I pulled her outside. She relaxed. I never encouraged her to do anything."
Dutrow seemed unconcerned about the quick work. He paid closer attention to whether Wonder Lady Anne L was coughing back at the barn.
"She hasn't coughed," Dutrow said. "We're very happy with her right now."
Dutrow's only concern going into the race is that Wonder Lady Anne L ran the worst race of her career here last year when she finished sixth to Adieu in the Grade 2 Spinaway. Adieu is pointing to the Alabama as well.
"She ran terrible here last year," Dutrow said. "She was running off with Edgar going down the backside. Now she's all aggressive again and it's going a mile and a quarter; I don't know how he's going to work it out. We'll just have to go ahead and see."
The Alabama field is expected to also include Lemons Forever, Pine Island, Pyramid Love, Teammate, and Unbridled Belle. Miss Shop is possible.
On Sunday, Delaware Oaks winner Adieu worked five furlongs in 1:01.91 over the main track, while Pine Island, runner-up in the Mother Goose and Coaching Club Oaks, worked five furlongs in 1:01.77 over the Oklahoma training track.
Wild Fit in soft spot
Trainer Patrick Biancone found an easier spot than the Alabama in which to bring back Grade 1 winner Wild Fit.
Wild Fit, sidelined since March due to an abscess that developed in her lung, is entered to run in a second-level allowance race going seven furlongs on Wednesday's card. It is the first allowance in which she has run after racing in five consecutive graded stakes.
"She was not training well enough to come back going a mile and a quarter," Biancone said. "We have time with her, you know. It's a nice comeback race. I needed the race to go. We'll take a shot in it."
At 2, Wild Fit won her first two starts, including the Del Mar Debutante. After getting upset in the Oak Leaf, she finished a hard-charging second to Folklore in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Michael Tabor, John Magnier, and Derrick Smith purchased Wild Fit for $3 million out of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale last November and turned her over to Biancone.
Wild Fit was beaten by Balance in both the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks during the winter. Though she has fired three bullet workouts at Saratoga, Biancone decided to take the easier route.
"You don't need to be at the same level to run in an allowance as you need to be in a Grade 1," he said.
Trainer Bobby Frankel entered both Citronnade and Sugar Swirl, but said Sugar Swirl will likely be the one that runs. She has not been out since finishing third in the Ontario Lassie at Woodbine last December.
Sharp Humor back on work tab
Sharp Humor, who came within a half-length of Barbaro in the Florida Derby, worked four furlongs in 50.37 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on Sunday. It was his first work since finishing 19th in the Kentucky Derby. He emerged from that race with a chip in his left knee and had to have surgery to remove it.
"He worked real good," trainer Dale Romans said. "Three weeks after surgery he was in the pool. He's come back quickly. He's an athlete."
In a perfect world, Romans said that Sharp Humor, a New York-bred son of Distorted Humor who won the Grade 2 Swale in March, would be able to make the Jerome Handicap at Belmont on Oct. 1.
"But I've never been in a perfect world before," Romans said.
Summerly gets back to work
Summerly, who won the Ashado Stakes here off a 54-week layoff, breezed five furlongs in 1:04.26 Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track. While pleased with how well Summerly has done since winning the Ashado, trainer Scott Blasi was noncommittal on whether Summerly would run back in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign here on Aug. 25 or wait for the $300,000 Ruffian on Sept. 10.
"It was just a very smooth work," Blasi said. "We're trying to keep us in some sort of rhythm. Physically, she's very strong right now and she's moving very well. That's all I can ask for at this point. I'm not sure where we're going to run her back."
Blasi also worked the stakes-winning sprinter Gaff on Monday
morning. Gaff went four furlongs in 50.33 seconds. He is coming off a poor performance in a stakes at Mountaineer, and Blasi has no race picked out for him at the moment.
"We're just going to train him, wait for him to come around and tell us where he wants us to run," Blasi said.
Teuflesberg in Saratoga Special
After initially saying she was going to run Sanford runner-up Teuflesberg in the Grade 1 Hopeful, trainer Jamie Sanders altered course on Monday and entered the son of Johannesburg in Thursday's Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special Breeders' Cup at 6 1/2 furlongs. Sanders also entered Fast n Ready in the race, and both are expected to run.
Teuflesberg is still a maiden, but he came within a neck of upsetting odds-on favorite Scat Daddy in the Sanford on the second day of the meet. Sanders said she chose the Saratoga Special because Teuflesberg is doing so well and the race is coming up easier than the Hopeful.
"We're not afraid to run against those horses in the Hopeful, but our main objective is the Breeders' Cup and we would rather give him an easier race than a tougher race, especially since he's had five races already," Sanders said.
A field of seven was entered for the Saratoga Special. From the rail out: Shermanesque, Actin Good, Cash Rich, Teuflesberg, Fast n Ready, Chace City, and King of the Roxy.
- Kent Desormeaux broke an 0-for-54 skid at this meet by rallying Hold That Thought ($6.70) to a 1 1/4-length victory in Monday's fourth.